Military veterans and their families struggling with homelessness now have new homes and resources to help end the cycle of homelessness, with the completion of a 58-unit affordable-housing community at Fort Snelling.
During a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and open house, newly moved-in residents, veterans groups, project partners and community leaders heralded Upper Post Veterans Community as vital in helping reach the goal of ending homelessness among military veterans in Minnesota.
Austin Poons, a veteran who served in the United States Army in the 1970s, was one of the first residents to move into Upper Post Veterans Community. Through the years, Poons has suffered from post-traumatic stress and major depressive disorder and in recent years has struggled with homelessness. Along with his nine-year-old golden retriever, Dutchess, Poon’s new home and life is making a difference. He and Dutchess keep a busy schedule helping others and volunteering at the Veterans Hospital.
“For the first time in two years, probably more, I feel at peace,” said Poon. “I am in a better place mentally and I love this place. Everything is so convenient – the Veterans Administration is a couple of blocks away and I have a park nearby. I feel like I am home for a long time.”
Congressman Erik Paulsen, a longtime supporter of the project, joined Poons and other newly moved-in residents for a tour of their new homes.