Homeless veterans program advances

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Rock Valley Community Programs, Inc. is pleased to announce renovations can officially begin in mid-October for the Caravilla Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing Program thanks to countless donations and the award of a capital and per diem grant from the U.S. Veteran’s Administration. Architectural plans will be drawn up in the next two to three weeks.

On Oct. 2, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki announced that 40 states will share more than $41.9 million in grants to community groups to provide 2,568 beds for homeless veterans this year.

Caravilla’s Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing Program is receiving $418,828 from the Veteran’s Administration, which will cover renovation of the north wing and the purchase of a van. Rock Valley Community Programs is in negotiations with the Veteran’s Administration about a per diem payment agreement for the individuals’ stays at the facility, according to Angel Eggers, executive director of Rock Valley Community Programs, Inc.

There is still $95,000 left to be raised. The total project cost is $644,051. Eggers said the community has been very supportive, and said there is significant progress being made on fundraising goals.

The Fatherhood Initiative men donated about $15,250 worth of labor when they performed all of the interior demolition. She added the Hendricks Family Foundation contributed a grant for $75,000.

“It’s been overwhelming. People really want to help,” she said.

Rock Valley Community Programs (RVCP) will be renovating 24 studio apartments. Each unit can provide housing for two homeless veterans, serving 48 homeless veterans at a time. The project will be completed by January of 2011.

Veterans from anywhere in VISN 12 will be eligible for RVCP’s Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing Program. VISN 12 includes all of Wisconsin, northern Illinois, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the north western corner of Indiana.

RVCP is continuing fundraising efforts. It will be at Ace Hardware Saturday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. selling brats, hot dogs and chili. People can purchase raffle tickets for a 32-inch flat screen TV or a Samsung Aclaim Droyd. There will also be a fundraiser Beloit Riffle Club Sight-In Days Oct. 30 -Nov. 17.

Those who want to mail a donation can send them to Homeless Veteran’s Program, care of Rock Valley Community Programs, Inc. 203 W. Sunny Lane Road, Janesville, WI 53546. Anyone interested in making a donation can contact RVCP at (608)741-4500.

RVCP has applied for a Pepsi Refresh grant and is asking everyone to vote for our project. The grants are awarded to those projects with the highest number of votes during the month of October.

There are three ways to vote, and people can do all three everyday.

• Text 103258 to 73774 (PEPSI)

• Vote from Facebook (login to your Facebook, search for “Pepsi,” click on the “Refresh Everything” tab and follow directions.

• Go to www.refresheverything.com, click on the “$250,000” tab and for those in the area they can click on the drop down box that says “Shuffled Ideas” and chose “Near You.” People can then find “Give homeless veterans Hope, Housing & Help by renovating 24 apartments.” Rock Valley Community Programs, and click on “Vote for this idea.”

Voters will then be given the choice to create an account or sign in using Facebook, for updates and voting opportunities.

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