Randolph: Groundbreaking Held on Housing for Homeless Veterans

State, local officials, and veterans took part in the groundbreaking event. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

State, local officials, and veterans took part in the groundbreaking event. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

 

In Randolph, Envision Bank and Father Bill’s and MainSpring have teamed up to provide housing for homeless veterans.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held yesterday at the site of the new home on 26 Moulton Street. The Envision Bank Home for Veterans will have 10 permanent, supportive units for formerly homeless individuals.

Republican Governor Charlie Baker joined local officials for the groundbreaking ceremony. He said this was a community effort to reduce homelessness, which was supported at the state level.

“We’ve been whittling away at that number for the past few years using this kind of a model in many parts of Massachusetts. We look forward to continuing to be able to do it,” said Baker. “It doesn’t work unless you have community folks that are totally baked in on it right from the beginning. In this particular case, you do. Kudos to Randolph and kudos to Envision Bank for stepping up.”

The total cost of the project is $2.57 million. The state Department of Housing and Community Development will fund $1.46 million of the project.

Envision Bank sold the land to FBMS for $1 and will give a $500,000 grant, along with financing for the project.

Jim McDonough, the President of Envision Bank, said they wanted to make a difference in the community.

“It was clear to us there was a great need. I think the consensus of the group was that would be a great place for us to focus our activity,” McDonough. “We know we can’t fix everything that’s wrong in the veterans world, but we know that we can have an impact here in our little corner of the world here, and make it a better place for people who have served their country with honor.”

Father Bill’s and MainSpring will own and operate the home.

John Yazwinski, the President and CEO of FBMS, said the partnership is a model to help end homelessness.

“When I came to Father Bill’s in 1996, about 20 per cent of the shelter guests were veterans. Right now we’re at about 11 per cent. It’s still 11 per cent too many,” said Yazwinski. “We really believe that any veteran that’s ever fought for our freedom should never have to experience homelessness.”

Construction is expected to start this month, and a move-in date is expected in November of 2020.

“Giving somebody a key and having them be able to close their own door at night is just a great feeling, when the community can come together,” said Yazwinski. “A lot of time we spend time fighting the NIMBYism – not in my back yard, so I’m really proud of the Randolph community, and I’m really proud of Envision Bank for believing in us.”

A rendering for the Envision Bank Home for Veterans. Photo courtesy FBMS.

A rendering for the Envision Bank Home for Veterans. Photo courtesy FBMS.

About Lenny Rowe

Lenny Rowe is one of the newest additions to the WATD News team. Lenny has won two Edward R. Murrow awards for breaking news coverage, and a Mass. Broadcasters Award in the sports feature category. He grew up in Pembroke and was an intern at WATD in 2012. A 2016 graduate from Suffolk University, Lenny now lives in Rockland. Outside of WATD, Lenny covers high school sports for The Boston Globe. Lenny can be reached at Lenny.Rowe30@Gmail.com.