Ground has been broken on the final two phases of the first permanent supportive housing development for homeless and disabled veterans in the Sacramento region.
Officials turned dirt on Phases Two and Three of the Mather Veterans Village in Rancho Cordova Tuesday. They'll bring a 46 bed transitional housing program for veterans and 50 more permanent homes on the site.
“When this is finished, they will have access to counseling, substance abuse services and job training,” said Rancho Cordova Mayor Linda Budge.
Former Army Sergeant George Thomas ended up on the streets after turning to drugs to numb the pain of his father's death.
“I just felt empty,” said Thomas. “I felt lost. I felt that there was no hope.”
Thomas now lives in one of the 50 homes built two years ago during the project's initial phase.
“Moving into Mather Veterans Village has given me hope,” Thomas continued. “It’s given me a new lease on life. We’re just a big family. Anything we can help one another with, we do that.”
Now enrolled in a drug recovery program, Thomas says he's striving to set a good example for his grandchildren.
Ed Hill is a US Army Veteran whose life, as he says, "fell apart" when he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure four years ago. Now a resident of the initial housing unit, Hill calls Mather Veterans Village a "Godsend."
“It’s convenient because of the proximity to the V.A. Hospital,’ said Hill. “I don’t have to worry about my living situation and I get to have my service dog with me – who’s a great comfort to me.”