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Homeless veterans housing project breaks ground at Ft. Snelling

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Homeless veterans in Minnesota will soon have a new place to call home.

Supporters of a long-awaited veterans housing project broke ground on the $17.2 million plan to convert some worn down, dilapidated buildings at Fort Snelling into 58 apartments for homeless veterans and their families.

KARE 11 reports the plan is for the studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments to be ready for veterans and their families by the spring of 2015.

The apartment complex will include some additional specialized services for the veterans.

– Clinical health care services

– Counseling and monitoring

– Academic support

– Job training

– Crisis management

The CommonBond Veterans Housing project is a public-private collaboration, with more than $9 million coming from United Health. Another $5.5 million came from Minnesota Housing Agency housing infrastructure bonds.

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Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) and Rep. Alice Hausman (DFL-St. Paul) gave remarks before the ceremonial groundbreaking. Some of the most emotional remarks came from Vietnam Veteran Jerry Readmond, who once was homeless himself.

According to the Star Tribune, of the estimated 10,000 Minnesotans homeless on any given night, more than 350 are veterans.

FOX 9 reports that Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal has set a goal of ending veteran homelessness in Minnesota by 2020.

Thursday's groundbreaking comes on the heels of the state legislature approving $100 million for affordable housing across the state.

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