Caravilla program delayed until March

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The Caravilla Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing Program is expected to start accepting homeless veterans by March 1, according to Angel Eggers, executive director of Rock Valley Community Programs.

Although the program was expected to be ready by Jan. 1, there was a delay getting the final approval and permits from the state and the Veteranís Administration. However, Eggers said construction has been under way for 30 days, and about a third of the project already has been completed. Next week a representative from the Madison Veteranís Administration will be coming to do a preliminary inspection.

ďWe are in full swing and things are moving,Ē Eggers said.

Caravilla Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing Program is collecting donations of gently used or new dishes, silverware, books and winter clothes including coats. New hygiene supplies, socks and underwear are being collected as well. The majority of the residents will be male, although there may be some females clients. For information about making a donation people can contact the program at 608-741-4500.

Eggers said the Caravilla Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing Program has been working representatives from the Veteranís Administration as well as community agencies and volunteers to get the word out to veterans.

ďWe get weekly phone calls from people who know someone needing these services,Ē Eggers said.

Many of the veterans who will be coming to the program are from the Madison area as well as those in Rock County.

Eggers said the project is within $63,000 of the renovation match. It continues to hold fundraising activities and will be attending the Wisconsin American Legion midwinter conference on Jan. 20-23 in Wisconsin Dells.

In addition to the $63,000 for the matching funds, organizers hope to raise more money for the initial start-up costs.

Rock Valley Community Programs Inc., has received conditional approval from the Veteranís Administration for a grant to help fund the Caravilla Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing Program.

Rock Valley Community Programs will be renovating 24 studio apartments. Each unit can provide housing for two homeless veterans, serving 48 homeless veterans at a time, according to Angel Eggers,

Everything necessary for daily living will be available on site including a community room, fitness room, walking path, laundry facility, canteen, activity center, resource room, cafeteria, snack shop, transportation, barber/beautician, chapel, library, slightly used clothing closet and computer training lab. There also will be substance abuse recovery support services, including group sessions focusing on maintaining sobriety and life-skills classes. Further expansion and renovation is possible, if the need arises.

The total renovation cost will be $678,000. Rock Valley Community Programs has to provide 35 percent of the money through fundraising activities. The Veteranís Administration grant would be $440,775.

Those who want to mail a donation can send them to Homeless Veteranís Program, care of Rock Valley Community Programs, Inc. 203 W. Sunny Lane Road, Janesville, WI 53546.

The estimated number of homeless veterans are 1,897 and 50 percent have substance abuse problems in the Veteranís Integrated Service Network 12. Those who want to track the progress of the new veteranís wing can visit the Facebook page, Caravilla Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing Program.

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