The sounds of shoveling, raking, drilling, and pounding were heard all day as the finishing touches on a brand new Veterans' home in Westerly come together. Erik Wallin is the Executive Director of Operation Stand Down Rhode Island, the organization responsible for the new housing units. He explains why the group chose Westerly, "currently there's not a permanent supportive housing unit anywhere in Washington County."
Since last September, OSDRI has been working to refinish two old buildings on Pierce St. along with one brand new handicap accessible building to create ten apartments to be filled by veterans and their families. Wallin goes on, "they once provided a great service to our country and some of them have had a hard time."
Just in time for Veterans Day next week, the ten living spaces will be complete. Not only are the homes beautifully re-finished, donations from Home Depot are making the spaces feel a little more like home. Scarlett Driscoll is the Store Manager at the Westerly Home Depot. She explains what the company is adding to the property, "a gazebo, a children's play area, a grilling patio along with a grill." In all 20,000 dollars worth of materials and goods is being granted to the project by Home Depot. Not only that, but the employees are joining in as well. Driscoll goes on, "volunteers from all over our Rhode Island district are giving back on their days off."
Over the next couple of months, OSDRI will be screening veterans and their families who are in need of a home, to move into the new property.