Sep. 25—TOWN OF ROCK — A local program that houses homeless military veterans has received a $1.12 million federal grant.
Rock Valley Community Programs announced the grant from the Veterans Administration will be used to remodel an unused wing of the organization's housing complex at 203 W. Sunny Lane.
Rock Valley has operated its VA-funded Housing 4 Our Vets program for 10 years. The program has 24 rooms with two beds to a room.
The remodeled wing will add 24 rooms so each veteran can have a room of his own, said Tiffany Ford, Rock Valley marketing director.
The program housed 33 veterans at Rock Valley last week. Its capacity is 48. Officials have said in the past that one reason more veterans don't take advantage of the program is the double-bunking arrangement.
Individual rooms will make for more comfortable living and improve safety for the veterans, including safety from COVID-19 infection, which is the purpose of the grant, Ford said.
The grant money is expected to arrive in October, and if all goes well, the work should be completed by the spring, Ford said.
Each room will have its own kitchenette and bathroom with shower.
Rock Valley officials have wanted to expand the program into the unused wing of the building for several years but haven't had the money to do so.
The grant comes through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020 and is meant to address public health concerns for vulnerable populations, according to a news release.
Rock Valley is a private, nonprofit agency that also provides a halfway-house program for men coming out of prison or jail, outpatient behavioral health services, and residential stabilization for those experiencing mental health crises.
The agency is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. It has occupied the multiwing former nursing home on Sunny Lane since 1997.