Development will provide 25 new units of affordable housing and supportive services for veterans in need
BOSTON – September 23, 2020 – Brighton Marine, a Veteran network community in Brighton, announced the official opening of a facility that provides 25 units of affordable housing to vulnerable Boston area Veterans.
“The City of Boston is incredibly lucky to have a network of providers that delivers among the most high-quality and comprehensive services for homeless individuals in the United States,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “We are proud of the fact that we have one of the highest sheltering rates in the nation. Brighton Marine is a great example of the work being done to help these individuals who have served our country. I thank all of our partners.”
The City of Boston is committed to connecting Boston's military families with the resources and assistance they are entitled to. In 2015, Mayor Walsh released "An Action Plan to End Veteran and Chronic Homelessness In Boston: 2015 - 2018", which outlines the City's strategies to transform Boston's homeless response system in order to end veterans homelessness by 2015 and chronic homelessness by 2018. Since the start of the plan the City has housed more than 1,291 veterans experiencing homelessness.
Boston Housing Authority, in partnership with Brighton Marine, Boston Veterans’ Services, VA Boston Healthcare and Soldier On, will provide permanent, affordable housing and supportive services to eligible Veterans under the HUD-VASH program. The HUD-VA Supportive Housing program provides Veterans with comprehensive case management and wraparound services delivered on and off campus – including primary and mental health care, and if needed, substance abuse counseling – to help Veteran residents further their recovery while achieving housing security and independence.
“Housing veterans has been a major priority for BHA for decades,” said Kate Bennett, Boston Housing Authority Administrator. “We are thrilled to be able to provide critical support for this project.”
The complex is located near public transit and a local job center and will complement an existing initiative by the non-profit Brighton Marine that helps homeless veterans and their families with money for security deposits, rent, outstanding utility bills, and moving expenses.
The project was made possible by construction partners Rockland Trust Bank, DHK Architects, Rubicon Builders and Comcast, as well as programming partners VA Boston Healthcare, Boston Housing Authority, City of Boston and Soldier On.
“Rockland Trust is delighted to support Brighton Marine with a $7 million Revolving Line of Credit and contribute to a project that will be transformational in the lives of its residents,” said Matt Verhamme, Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer at Rockland Trust. “We are proud to play a role in providing veterans with critical housing and connections to essential services while strengthening the Brighton community.”
Brighton Marine received a Comcast Corporate Investment of $10,000 to fund the purchase of hardware for Building 9 to allow high need veterans access to video dissemination of social services, training, and connection to the internet. This innovative approach to veteran social support will augment in-person support and allow veterans access to services in a comfortable environment.
“We could not be more thrilled to open additional housing options on the Brighton Marine campus for veterans who have served our country,” said Michael Dwyer, President of Brighton Marine. “This was truly a team effort and we are thankful for the support of our Board of Directors and many community partners who have rolled up their sleeves to bring this vision to life.”
The care for residents will be coordinated by the case management teams at Boston Veterans’ Services, VA Boston Healthcare and Soldier On, a private nonprofit organization committed to ending veteran homelessness. Since 1994, Soldier On has been providing homeless veterans with transitional housing and supportive services. These two organizations, in conjunction with Brighton Marine will provide on-site assistance through many services, including providing a resident director who will be onsite to meet the unique needs of each resident.
“We at Soldier On are honored and excited to be included in the Brighton Marine veterans housing development. The men and women who served our country were there when we needed them, and we are here for them when they need a home and a community to be a part of,” said Bruce Buckley, CEO and President of Soldier On. “We are grateful for Brighton Marine, their Board of Directors, the City of Boston, and all the other community partners to allow us to serve the veterans in this joint effort.”
Each studio is fully furnished with private kitchenettes and full bathrooms. The facility will be fitted with state-of-the-art conferencing technology to support telehealth needs for Veteran residents. Veterans are expected to begin moving in by September 15.