22 2 None Converting Old School Building into Temporary Housing for Veterans

The old South Boardman Elementary school once served hundreds of students. Now, the ten-classroom building will be converted to house veterans in need.

South Boardman Elementary Web Image222 2 None plans to buy the 15-acre property and convert classrooms into one-bedroom apartments to help vets who need a place to stay.

Since its inception, the nonprofit has set out to reduce veteran suicide rates because the veteran community loses 22 people every day. For years, the group has also wanted to provide temporary shelter to its brothers and sisters who have served, but building a community from the ground up would have been too expensive.

“For the same price we’re getting the whole school on 15 acres, the BATA bus goes out there, the parking lots out there, the septic, the wells,” said treasurer Chris Greening.

The school building comes equipped with plumbing, septic hookups, a big parking lot, a playground for families, a gymnasium, office spaces and a bathroom in each classroom.

“We can hold events there, it’s got the gym, it’s got the parking lot, there’s areas where we could do a veterans movie night,” said vice president Ray McDaniel. “There’s nothing really in Northern Michigan that would offer housing to veterans basically free of charge for them to come in and help them get back on their feet again. The possibilities are endless for what can happen with this.”

McDaniel says the building will be able to comfortably accommodate up to 12 veterans and their families who need temporary housing.

He says the best part will be creating a safe space for local vets.

“Creating a community with this housing project is good, we all miss that sense of camaraderie from when we were in and serving next to another guy or girl,” said McDaniel.

The group is asking for donations to complete the purchase of the property. To donate, click here.

Down the line, they’ll need volunteers to assist with remodeling.

To learn more about the organization and to find other ways to help out, click here.