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Chicopee to Welcome Veteran Housing to Fmr. Chapin School

Veteran Services

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WGGB) – Chapin School in Chicopee is about to undergo some major renovations. The school is now part of the Soldier On program that received a $250,000 federal grant to renovate and better serve our nations heroes.

Friday in Chicopee, Mayor Michael Bissonnette announced a new project that will give back to at least a few of those who have dedicated their lives to the military.

“We learned a valuable lesson, I think, from Vietnam. We may have disagreements about the war itself, but we don’t have any disagreements about what this country owes to our warriors,” says Bissonnette.

Enter Soldier On, a nonprofit organization committed to ending veteran homelessness.

The organization has been providing homeless veterans with transitional housing and supportive services since 1994, but in truth their commitment doesn’t end there.

“Our agency has created a system of serving veterans where we deliver all the services to veterans where they live so that they don’t have to keep appointments,” explains President and CEO John Downing.  “For those services that we can’t deliver to them, we deliver them to the service.”

In 18 to 24 months, all the old classrooms at Chapin School will be transformed into 43 studio apartments.

Soldier On will be working with local Veteran’s Services to identify local under served veterans. Those who need rapid rehousing or upgraded housing will be given top priority for the new apartments.

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