The first of two long awaited California Veterans Home’s opened today. Over 200 veterans, advocates and their families toured the Fresno Veterans Home. A similar event will be held in Redding next Friday.
Construction of the Fresno veterans home began during the spring of 2010, but the project stalled due to a lack of funds.
In 2011, Henry T. Perea introduced The Veterans Home Savings Act to restore funding to the project. The Fresno home cost an estimated $250,000.
World War II Veteran Bill Carr was the first of two residents to move into the new home. The 84-year-old says the home saved his life.
“The place where I was staying in Bakersfield, the owners wanted to get rid of the property and about six months ago they told me they would like me to vacate by the twenty-second of October,” Carr says.
It also brings him closer to his family.
“Now I’m 10 to 15 minutes away from the kids and I can go see their baseball games,” Carr says.
Three hundred veterans are expected to move into the home, eight each month until the home is full.
California Veterans Affairs officials say the 30- acre facility will offer a dignified and homelike living environment including a main street themed corridor with a general store and a barber shop.
Congressman Jim Costa says the home will be a beacon of hope for veterans in the region.
“This home will not only provide 300 units for men and women who have worn the uniform but also provide additional services for many others,” Costa says. “It’s taken 12 years to make this a reality, but finally that day is here.”
Fresno veteran and advocate Charlie Waters says the jobs created at the facility will help Fresno’s economy. It will employ 450 people when the home is full.