1/28/14 — Patriot Place Receives Grant for 12-Passenger Van
(Pictured: Staff of Patriot Place and Gaylord Ford with new van)
Patriot Place receives a grant to cover 65% of the cost for a van for the VA-funded program. Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan, who own the program, matched the remaining 35%. The “almost new” 2013 12-passenger van was purchased at GAYLORD FORD at a reduced price because of the value they see in helping the veterans in our community. This is a great opportunity for Patriot Place as they have been transporting up to 24 veterans in a donated 1999 Ford Taurus (affectionately called “Blue Betty”) for the past 2-1/2 years. “During outings we would keep a keen eye out to make sure no parts fell off!” Patriot Place Director, Kathleen Arndt jokes.
This will allow the program to participate in community activities together, travel to the annual Tight Lines for Troops event downstate as well as assist in transporting veterans to medical appointments, Wolverine Outreach Dental Program and other events.
Patriot Place was established in 2011 as a Grant and Per Diem program that allows homeless veterans in Northern Michigan to get back onto their feet through support services provided on-site. The transitional housing is for up to 24 months and prepares single male veterans to regain employment, medical or disability assistance to increase self reliance. To this point, 67 men have lived at the 10-duplex facility located off of Murner Road. Many have gone on to full-time employment, have purchased vehicles, regained health and continue to live productive lives. Some return to teach coping skills, first aid and visit with their old neighbors. A few have been given vehicles through the Workers on Wheels Program, others have gained employment at the Goodwill Retail Store and one even purchased his first home. The partnership with the VA has been a wonderful way for veterans to see that the government does care about their circumstances and the facility is open to new referrals. For additional information contact Patriot Place at 989-448-2260 or visit us on the web at goodwillnmi.org.