Housing center gives struggling veterans a place to live

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Giving back to the men and women who serve our country. That’s the idea of St. Michael’s Veterans Center. Missouri Senator Clair McCaskill toured the facilities Wednesday afternoon and she said she plans to take the program's concept back to Washington.

“It gives you a chance to be independent. It gives you a chance to think better of yourself,” said Carl Yonkers, an army veteran.

That’s the power of having a place to call your own. Yonkers was in transitional housing before living at St. Michael’s Veteran Center. That’s a story echoed by almost every veteran who lives there.

Robert Green, army veteran and resident of two years added, “It makes me feel whole again. You’re bouncing around on people’s couches and you don’t really feel like a man. You feel more like a burden."

“I was a homeless vet, having problems with alcohol and drugs,” said Paul Atkinson, who served in the army.

Since opening in 2014, St. Michael’s Veterans Center provided support services, community, and a roof for 58 veterans, and it’s still expanding. Sen. McCaskill hopes to take this plan beyond Kansas City.

“I want to learn about how this came about, what their protocols are, so I can go back to Washington and talk to the people of HUD, talk to people of the Senate to replicate this all over the country,” she said.

She toured the facility and met the veterans who are now being taken care of by the country they fought so hard to protect.

“I didn’t think it was possible to get repaid. They’ve done a hell of a job,” said Cedrick VonPumphrey, an army veteran.

Once this subsidized housing plan is completed, 180 more veterans will be able to call this place home.

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