Written by Cory Twibell: firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 13 July 2012 00:00
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano stood in front of 689 Main Street in Westbury on July 3 to announce plans for the building to be converted to a veteran’s housing complex by early 2013.
Mangano said that Nassau County awarded a $1.5 million grant from Federal HOME Investment Partnerships to the New York Veterans Advocacy Group (NYVAG), a nonprofit organization that will operate the facility.
“History has shown us that we would not enjoy democracy today but for the selfless acts of our veterans. This 53-bed facility is first of its kind in Nassau County, complete with counseling and referral services, expecting to serve 200 veterans per year. Once open, the facility will assist all veterans regardless of when they served this great country,” Mangano said, adding that a Request for Proposals (RFP) will be sent out to select a developer in the coming weeks.
Mangano noted that the Town of North Hempstead had to rezone the property from a business district to a special-use district to accommodate the construction of facility.
“When we were approached by this veterans group and apprised of their need and special program to help our veterans, we wanted to act as quickly as possible to help,” North Hempstead Councilman Angelo Ferrara stated.
The Westbury location will offer counseling services to Nassau County veterans as well.
“Many of our veterans would actually have to travel to Northport to get access to many of the services that are offered, Mangano said, and this provides a convenient place to help our homeless veterans often winding up in the social services arena or other housing programs that really do not focus on the rehabilitation that our veterans deserve. Nassau County Veterans Service Acting Director Joe Pascarella said that nearly 2,000 veterans in the county are homeless.
“NYVAG will operate the facility to make certain no veteran goes without a home or goes without a bed. They will provide counseling and tools so that once again they can own their own home here in Nassau County,” Mangano said.
Since taking office two and a half years ago, Mangano said he and his administration have pushed to offer services for veterans, including the opening of a 42-unit affordable housing complex in Mitchel Field for veterans and their families and an additional 18 homes for active-duty military personnel.
“Nassau County continues to lead in fighting for our veterans,” said Mangano. “From constructing housing for homeless veterans, sponsoring job fairs and career training through our ‘Welcome Home Heroes’ program, we remain committed to enhancing services for Nassau’s returning servicemen and women.”