Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Rep. Michael Capuano, state officials and executives from Volunteers of America attended a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for a new veterans housing development in West Somerville.
Called the Massachusetts Bay Veterans Center, and located at 1323 Broadway, the new facility will provide 22 transitional and seven permanent housing units for homeless veterans.
Speaking at the groundbreaking—71 years to the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor—Capuano talked about the need to help veterans in need.
"The concept of homeless veterans is, to me, anathema … it should not exist," he said.
"The county was built on the back of veterans," Capuano said, adding that it was a "national disgrace" the country has "turned its back on veterans."
Curtatone said veterans remain "disproportionately vulnerable" to unemployment, health problems and homelessness and that "we are delighted to serve as the home of this new veterans center."
According to an announcement from Volunteers for America, which is developing the project, the veterans center received funding from Eastern Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, MA Housing Stabilization Fund, MA Affordable Housing Trust Fund, MA HOME Funds, MA/CEDAC Housing Innovations Fund, CEDAC Predevelopment Funding, Somerville HOME Funds, Somerville Affordable Housing Trust, The Home Depot Foundation, and the Center for Community Recovery Innovation-MassHousing.
West Somerville Veterans Housing Project Gets $3.6 Million From State