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Homeless veterans move into new Raleigh homes

Posted August 7, 2013

— Ten U.S. veterans in Raleigh moved into new apartments built specifically for them.

The $1.2 million, 10-unit Sunnybrook Apartments is the first of its kind in the area to help get disabled, homeless vets to get off the street.

Residents pay approximately 30 percent of their income for rent, and the remainder is subsidized by the U.S. Housing of Urban Development, city of Raleigh and Wake County.

The location is central to a local veterans service center, close to WakeMed and along a public transportation line.

According to a January 2012 survey called Point in Time Count, more than 140 homeless veterans live in Wake County. CASA, the nonprofit building and managing the apartments, has plans to open a second building nearby, as well as one in Durham.

Raleigh apartments get homeless vets off the street Raleigh apartments get homeless vets off the street

Volunteers with the Wake Forest chapter of Ladies of Valor welcomed the new tenants with homemade quilts and food, appliances and other necessities for their new homes.

"It's going to help out a lot. It's one less thing I've got to worry about," said Bill Andruzzi.

Andruzzi, a former staff sergeant, was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force after 15 years of service. Last year, he got sick, lost his leg to an infection and then lost his job and ended up in a homeless shelter on Wilmington Street.

He's now taking classes and says having a place to call home will help him get back on his feet.

"I've got a lot of support," he said. "This apartment is just the beginning."

54 Comments

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  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Aug 8, 12:43 p.m.

    westernwake1 - "While I fully support this effort to help disabled veterans - it could have been done for half the price and created a situation to assist 20 veterans instead of 10."

    They deserve as normal a life as is possible. Segregating them all into separate areas doesn't do that.

  • Evolve Aug 8, 10:57 a.m.

    Re-read DavyCrockett's post and consider he is a vet. We don't have to blindy consume the propaganda.

  • westernwake1 Aug 7, 6:08 p.m.

    I am going through the Apartment Complexes for sale in downtown Raleigh on Loopnet that are somewhat equivalent in the price and number of units here. On average the average price for disability ready apartments is $60,000.

    Some examples for sale:

    - 26 Apartment complex for $1,500,000 = $57,692 per apartment.

    - 16 Apartment complex for $750,000 = $46,875 per apartment.

    While I fully support this effort to help disabled veterans - it could have been done for half the price and created a situation to assist 20 veterans instead of 10.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Aug 7, 5:59 p.m.

    Exceedingly blessed!!!

    They deserve every benefit they get for having served this country when so many others just walk the other way.

  • westernwake1 Aug 7, 5:59 p.m.

    "I worked for a social service agency in Wake, just only a few months ago and our case workers tried to get many of our patients homes via the Housing Authority of Wake. There was, at one time, 1000+ people on the list awaiting homes or apartments." - sceeter

    This is because most landlords do not want to take the low amount allowed by the government for Section 8 or subsidized housing when they can get much more in the open market. Only complexes built with tax credits for low-income housing can be profitable.

    Unfortunately this is also the type of tenant that tends to give landlords the most headache. Providing government program housing tends to devalue the rent you can get for all the other apartment units in your complex (e.g. who wants to rent in a complex with Section 8 housing - the only way to attract non-section 8 renters is to lower the rent greatly). These points may be painful but unfortunately they are the truth in how landlords view it.

  • westernwake1 Aug 7, 5:52 p.m.

    antoniowillia20 - Good points. However from a housing cost perspective it likely still possible to create a group of independent good-quality apartment units to be used by disabled veterans for less than the $120K per unit spent here.

  • antoniowillia20 Aug 7, 5:25 p.m.

    I see people questioning the cost.

    I also see them trying to provide a different solution. The problems with those solutions however are these:
    A. You come back disabled and the last thing you need is to be placed in a dorm type living arrangement. Community bathrooms and kitchens are not the answer to getting them back to independent living.
    B. Those so called empty apartments and nursing homes are not always run by owners who will acceppt Military Vets cause their in it to make money not to honor those who served.
    C. Knowing your neighbor also knows what your going through because they went through it is a big plus. Just like while in Uniform they will come together and help each other.

    USAF Diasbled Vet. I served proudly for 12 years and then I got hurt. By the grace of God I can still work and I can walk but I cannot run anymore. I'm not homeless but I came close enough to it. Knowing that real help is now out there counts for a lot so please don't be negative.

  • Civil4Mind Aug 7, 5:23 p.m.

    packersfan4life

    My sister and I did..there are alot of us who was directly effected by 911 and felt a strong urge to do something than complain and cry. None of my family ever joined. My school was well paid for through scholarships and my parents but I left school and joined... 8 years later I am still in and so is my sister. There is about a good percentage of us who take pride in our country and what it stands for and want to protect it. People don't realize some of the homeless vets were put out with no where to go. If you get disabled your out and it can take months to a year to see a disability check or help. Some don't have family and the military is all they really have. Its good to see my tax dollars go to helping those who protect this country and put themselves in harm. Hooah!

  • sceeter Aug 7, 5:22 p.m.

    "There are TONS of empty, disabled-ready apartment in Wake County that don't need gov't money to build"..wufpaker

    "There are a large number of disability-ready units available around Raleigh that can be renovated or made available for less than $120K per unit - and these are nice apartment units, not low end stuff.".. westernwake1

    I do not live in Wake, but am glad to see Wake providing moderate housing to Veterans in need. I am a bit perplexed though as to the notes above that there are tons and dozens of apartments available in Wake that could be re-hab'd and/or converted to disabled ready.

    I worked for a social service agency in Wake, just only a few months ago and our case workers tried to get many of our patients homes via the Housing Authority of Wake. There was, at one time, 1000+ people on the list awaiting homes or apartments.

    BTW.. I think it awesome to provide homes for the homeless & poverty riddled veterans of our country, regardless of WHY they joined their service.

  • DavyCrockett Aug 7, 4:51 p.m.

    Hey Ryan. To be fair, don't forget that us taxpayers also have a part to play not only in providing payment for the funding so we all have the chance and privilege to serve our country, but also the right and a duty to see that monies taken are well spent. Unfortunately, pointing up feel good / "heart on the sleeve" less than efficient use of funding as this housing for very few might be, typically results the leveling of personal attacks accusing those challenging as being uncaring, greedy, heartless, or worse, hit with a race card. And you know, many of us are getting pretty tired of it all. Lest you think me out of touch with military life, etc., I previously served honorably as a Marine Corps officer.

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