Hope Housing Foundation proposes housing development
By DD TURNER May 1, 2018 Updated May 1, 2018
A proposed housing development would help address a few pressing needs – affordable homes for veterans as well as offering assistance to help veterans transition out of the military.
Alvin Johnson, president of Hope Housing Foundation, plans to use 20 acres behind Sea Greens to build the Veterans Village. It will consist of duplexes as well as single-family dwellings. The foundation owns both Sea Greens and Seabreeze as well.
Johnson spoke to members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4403 Wednesday, April 16, to explain the project and gauge the support for the project.
“As part of it we want to offer job training and search assistance, medical care, food and utility assistance and more,” said Johnson.
Wehmeyer Services has offered to provide HGHC training and Formosa will offer job training as well as Formosa Plastics, who will be developing a program.
Johnson noted some statistics: Vietnam War veterans make up the majority of homeless veterans, which also includes World War II, Gulf wars and Iraq veterans.
A key to the success of the program, said Johnson, will be financial support from the local business, plants and community.
But Johnson said they were working with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, The Veterans Administration in order to utilize those programs as well to help veterans.
In addition, the post’s Adjutant Laval Simons has been speaking to lawmakers in Texas as well as Washington, D.C., seeking their support for the project. He told the post members he had an appointment to speak with Sen. Ted Cruz about the project.
A priority issue for Johnson is helping soldiers’ transition from the military to civilian life.
“What they do in the military does not always transition into a job in civilian life,” said Johnson. “We want to have job training, counseling and care to help the soldiers make that transition.”
Lydia Jones, community coordinator for Sea Greens and Seabreeze and a veteran, said her experience, as a medical readiness staff sergeant didn’t transition into a job in civilian life as hospital administrator. “I ran a hospital in the military, a degree wasn’t required. But it is as a civilian so I wasn’t qualified.
“If you are a Navy SEAL, what are you going to do? That’s not something that transitions. You have to re-invent yourself, look for a new career and change directions,” she said.
Johnson was asked about the housing and whether anyone could apply with the example of a widow applying to stay in the home.
“We have to follow Fair Housing guidelines but we are going to target veterans first,” he said.
Jones said the project wants to have a community garden, a visiting doctor, health and wellness and more.
Hope Housing Foundation is a Texas nonprofit corporation dedicated to the promotion, and creation of quality affordable housing.
“Our goal is to provide quality affordable housing as well as offer community development programs, resident services, educational scholarships, and further activities and programs that will enhance the lives of the residents and communities we serve,” according to a press release on the company’s website, http://www.hopehousingfoundation.org.
“The veterans are happy,” said Jones.
During the meeting, the post presented an award for his donation of $5,000 to the post.