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Local Effort Underway to Build a Care Home for Veterans

Star Staff ReportsVeterans Parkway shot

A group of concerned citizens, many who are veterans or their relatives, are leading an effort to build a Tennessee State Veterans Home in Shelby, Fayette or Tipton County.
Before the $60 million dollar 144-bed facility can be built, the group has to raise 35 percent of the cost.
“We know this is a real challenge for our group.  However, it’s simply the right thing to do for the 70,000 eligible veterans in West Tennessee.
Many live in Shelby, Tipton and Fayette County and need a local facility for long-term care and rehabilitation services,” said Holly Swogger, President and Chairperson of West Tennessee Veterans Home, Inc.
The nearest Veterans Home to the three-county area is 96 miles away in Humboldt.
A total of 15 veterans from Shelby, Tipton and Fayette Counties reside there with 138 local veterans awaiting admission.
It will cost $60 million to open the proposed care home.  The Federal Government will fund 65 percent of the money but the non-profit group has to raise about $23 million on its own to construct the residential-style home and pay for the first year’s operating costs.
After that, patient admissions will keep the home self-sustaining.
So far, Shelby County Government has designated $2 million towards the local contribution.
The care home group plans to visit government leaders, charity foundations, businesses, churches and community groups to generate awareness and seek donations. The city of Millington and United Housing, Inc., of Memphis have offered potential land sites for consideration.
“We want government leaders in Shelby, Fayette and Tipton Counties to realize the economic benefits of having a care home located in their community.  It will generate construction jobs, and once opened, employees and the vendors that supply the home will certainly boost the local economy.  That could be more than $10 million annually,” added Swogger.
Go to www.veterans-home.com or call Holly Swogger at 410-0655 for more information.

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