Helping our homeless veterans find places to live

Photo: Matthew Woitunski / CC BY-SA 3.0
Photo: Matthew Woitunski / CC BY-SA 3.0
Published: Feb. 12, 2018 at 5:49 PM EST
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Monday, Feb. 12, 2018

(News 12 at 5:30)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – Veteran housing can be tough to come by nationwide, and here in Augusta. The Augusta Warrior Project tells us they find dozens of veterans in need every month.

One woman is taking on a mission herself, to help find a solution. Arlean Williams wants the doors of a home on D’Antignac Street to be open to those in need. It’s called the Avery House.

“Neighborhood stabilization, helping veterans, helping persons that are homeless, all at 948 D’Antignac Street.”

Arlean came to Augusta 13 years ago from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit, leaving her homeless.

“When you’ve lost everything, and you ended on your feet, you know it’s possible.”

Now she wants to help veterans in similar situations.

"Employment, education, medical attention, all of that is readily available. Why is housing a problem?"

Kelly Thorpe is the Director of Veteran Homeless Services at the Augusta Warrior Project.

"Usually, we're talking to thirty to fifty at a time that need some kind of affordable housing."

She helps to find those veterans. There's a number of housing efforts from the VA and other groups, but transitional housing is hard to come by.

"Sometimes people need a stepping stone, a transitional home, and that's not something that's readily available."

That's what Arlean hopes the Avery House can be.

"I'll buy as many houses as I can. And I'm not a rich woman by any means. Rich in faith. But I don't think you have to be rich to do things and give back to the community, I don't."

One house at a time, helping one veteran at a time.

It’s a work in progress but groups have already volunteered to help out. Arlean is looking for more help and some supplies. She has another house running on Wrightsboro Road, the Augusta Warrior Project says they’ve already put one veteran there.

Contact Arlean Edwards Williams:

Phone: (706) 250-1579 
Cell: (706) 250-1579 

Volunteers are needed to lend a hand to renovate and/or repair the Avery House at 948 D’Antignac Street, Augusta, in partnership with the Augusta Warrior Project bringing together all the necessary resources to help local Warriors – wounded or not – and their Families end chronic homelessness. 
OUR VISION - Homeless Veterans moving successfully toward self-sufficiency and blighted neighborhoods being sustainably revitalized. Our mission is to end chronic homelessness among veterans in our communities. Achieving that mission is requires more than putting a roof over our veterans’ heads. It requires a holistic approach that addresses the “total veteran” and his or her needs. 
Bright Eyes Development Corporation/Metamorphosis, Inc.’s the Avery House is a housing program comes with a full range of support services including meals, an employment and training program, and special services related to PTSD, substance abuse, and other challenges faced by veterans. Intensive case management and counseling are provided by Metamorphosis, Inc. to help veterans regain control of their lives.