News
 
June 18, 2014
For Immediate Release

Contact: Julia Bey Ahmet
(973) 463-9600, ext. 303

Community Hope Wins NCHV and Home Depot Foundation’s First National
Homeless Veterans Award For New Veterans Village


Valley Brook Village, opened October 2013, is ensuring “a place to call home” to 62 formerly homeless and disabled veterans.
Parsippany –Community Hope won the Home Depot Foundation’s and the National Council of Homeless Veterans’ (NCHV) awards competition at the recent national conference in Washington, D.C. and became the first recipient of the national Pete Dougherty Award for Excellence in Supportive Housing for Homeless Veterans. The nonprofit organization was cited for its outstanding contributions to the national campaign to end veteran homelessness in the United States.

The award includes a $50,000 monetary award sponsored by the Home Depot Foundation as part of their commitment to helping alleviate homelessness among the nation’s veterans.

The award recognized the Parsippany-based nonprofit's role in helping to alleviate homelessness among veterans by developing Valley Brook Village, a 62-unit permanent supportive housing development, on 16 acres of land secured by Community Hope and it partners on the Lyons Veterans Affairs campus in Bernards Township, Somerset County, NJ. Community Hope began developing the project several years earlier in partnership with major developer Peabody Properties and Windover Construction. Construction was completed in September 2013 and is fully occupied with a current waiting list of more than 60 homeless and disabled veterans seeking the affordable housing-plus-services.

As a result of the long wait list and the partners goal to help alleviate homelessness, plans to develop Phase II with an additional 50 units is underway. Community Hope and its partners are seeking to secure financing of $12.5 million in order to begin construction by summer 2015. The first phase took about 10 months to complete and expectations are that Phase II would be developed in the same or less time.

"First, we experienced the honor of providing a safe place to call home for our nation's heroes," said J. Michael Armstrong, Community Hope CEO. "Now, we have been honored with this prestigious national recognition for giving back to those who defended our freedom. We are humbled by this recognition and inspired to forge ahead with our mission."

Community Hope's mission is to help individuals, including veterans, and their families, overcome mental illness, addiction, homelessness and poverty by providing housing and support services. Armstrong said that Valley Brook Village is one of a three-part effort to alleviate homelessness among the region's veterans and veteran families. While Valley Brook Village provides permanent housing, the organization also provides transitional housing for more than 100 homeless veterans a day. Veterans can reside in the Hope for Veterans and Alfred J. Thomas Home for Veterans for up to two years while the nonprofit's staff help them rebuild their lives by connecting them to healthcare, recovery services, employment, training and benefits.

“We are so pleased that the Valley Brook project is open and our residents are thriving, it is added pleasure to see our partners, Community Hope, acknowledged by the NHVC and Home Depot with the prestigious Peter Doherty Award,” said Elizabeth Collins, Peabody Properties Senior Project Manager.

Community Hope is also one of the first providers in the nation to have implemented the national Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program intended to prevent homelessness and to rapidly rehouse homeless veteran households. The agency currently provides these services in 11 of New Jersey's 21 northern counties as well as eastern Pennsylvania and expects to save as many as one thousand veterans and veteran families from homelessness in the year ahead.

Armstrong said the Home Depot's monetary award "comes at a historic time in our agency's history as we have expanded and continue to offer more services to address the needs of our area veterans."

About Community Hope and the Hope for Veterans Programs: Community Hope, founded in 1985, is today the largest nonprofit organization serving homeless veterans in and around New Jersey. Through its Hope for Veterans Programs, Community Hope expects to provide housing and services to as many as one thousand homeless veterans and veteran families in the year ahead. The agency also provides residential recovery programs, including both transitional and permanent supportive housing, for individuals in recovery from mental illness. www.communityhope-nj.org or www.hopeforveterans.com

About Peabody Properties: Peabody Properties is a full service real-estate firm and Community Hope’s development partner in the financing and development of Valley Brook Village for Veterans on the Lyons VA campus in Somerset County, New Jersey. www.valleybrookvillagenj.com

About The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV): NCHV is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization governed by a 16-member board of directors – is the resource and technical assistance center for a national network of community-based service providers and local, state and federal agencies that provide emergency and supportive housing, food, health services, job training and placement assistance, legal aid and case management support for hundreds of thousands of homeless veterans each year. NCHV also serves as the primary liaison between the nation’s care providers, Congress and the Executive Branch agencies charged with helping them succeed in their work. NCHV's advocacy has strengthened and increased funding for virtually every federal homeless veteran assistance program in existence today. www.nchv.org

About the Home Depot Foundation: The Home Depot Foundation’s mission is to ensure every veteran has a safe place to call home. Having committed $80 million over five years to support the housing needs of veterans, the Foundation has already impacted more than 10,000 units of veterans housing. In addition, Home Depot associates are contributing their own time and talents to make a difference for veterans in local communities through Team Depot, an associate-led volunteer force. www.homedepotfoundation.org

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