70-unit veterans home opens in Tinton Falls
TINTON FALLS – There are now 70 new permanent one-bedroom units with amenities and extras for every veteran, following the Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Community Dedication Ceremony on Essex Rd. Friday . The noon hour ceremony followed an official Thursday evening event that marked the official opening of the nationally renowned organization Soldier On.
The four-story single-building veterans community, in addition to providing permanent housing with 80 percent of units already occupied and housing starting in December, already has a waiting list of around 100 more veterans. It represents more than a decade of challenging work by a team of determined Americans, including Monmouth County Commission Lilian G. Burry, former Tinton Falls Council Chairman Gary Baldin and former Police Chief and Mayor of Tinton Falls Gerald Turning, for their more than a decade of dedication and collaboration with Homeless and Winn Development, who partnered with the non-profit organization to provide housing for homeless and formerly homeless veterans shelter. Each of the units is eligible for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, 18 of which are restricted through a contract based on a Section 8 project. Thanks to Unlimited and the concerted efforts of Monmouth County officials and volunteers, the community of Gordon Mansfield is one of the first in the country to provide rental housing to veterans with a range of income and a path to eventual ownership.
Soldier ON CEO Bruce Buckley added his praise and thanks to Burry, Baldwin and Turning at Friday’s ceremony, joining in the applause and congratulations from the more than 100 people who attended the event.
The community is named after the late Gordon H. Mansfield, a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran who also served as Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Affairs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Mansfield also served as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs after a distinguished military career in which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Bronze Star, three Purple Hearts, and the Presidential Insignia of Citation and combat infantry.
Each of the apartments is equipped with all kitchen appliances, a dining room, living room and bedroom and a private bathroom with adequate wardrobes and bathrooms large enough to accommodate everything. type of ambulatory transport a veteran needs. Each is also furnished with a dining table and chairs, a double bed and a mattress, a chest of drawers, a bedside table, a sofa, a coffee table and a a television console. All units are fully equipped with kitchenware, cooking utensils, utensils, linens, pillows, linens, towels and cleaning supplies plus all utility costs, cable and WIFI already included in the rent.
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Veterans will also have access to transportation to get to medical appointments, employment, shopping, a community event and other resources, and some of the tenants have even taken advantage of employment opportunities. within the community, including van drivers and horticultural workers.
A number of counseling sessions are also available to all on-site residents, including credit counseling, legal assistance for health care power of attorneys, a power of attorney, or the signing of a will. There is even a space reserved for a crematorium if the veterans choose to have their final resting place near the veterans with whom they have spent such important parts of their lives.
The vast grounds include hiking trails and outdoor relaxation areas. The on-site terraces are equipped with gas grills.
The community also has a separate female wing for veteran women who choose not to mingle in a mixed environment. The unit has a balcony and additional community space, and all veterans have access to all amenities, outdoor areas, and services.
Construction was under budget at a total cost of $ 23 million and was completed on schedule for housing on the 12-acre wooded site offered by Tinton Falls to the veterans community.
Congressman Chris Smith, who drove from Washington DC early in the morning to ensure his presence at the ceremony, despite congressional hearings late at night, praised the cooperative efforts that made the long-held dream come true . Smith also praised the name Mansfield, whom he knew personally through his work with veterans and Smith’s congressional committee and whom he personally admired for his dedication to the nation despite his own physical disabilities.
MP Serena DiMaso, State Senator Vin Gopal, Director of County Commissioner John Arnone and other county commissioners were also present for the ceremony, as were administrators and elected officials from Tinton Falls. Gopal praised Burry and Baldwin for their long-term efforts and determination to make the Veterans Complex a reality.
Work on the dream began when former Coast Guard Captain Donald Burry heard about the Soldier On concept and passed it on to his wife, Commissioner Burry, who is also the county representative on the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA). Both Burrys, thought the idea of Soldier On in Veterans Housing would be perfect on the former Army facility.
Buckley pointed to Burry as the driving force, the energy and the person who was always on the phone to make things happen from day one.
When plans for housing to be built in Fort Monmouth proved too difficult to achieve, Baldwin, who was Tinton Falls’ representative to FMERA, suggested the size of his township adjacent to his own house in Seabrook Village, in the bidder, with the approval of the government body for a dollar.
Gopal said he was not stationed in Trenton for 10 minutes when Burry called him for help and weekly phone calls afterwards to make sure he understood the message and that she could get funding. Arnone named the project the Monmouth County Planning Council’s Project of the Year.
A bronze statue of Burry, Baldwin and Turning can be found in a permanent location at the site.
Requests for one bedroom studio style units are accepted by contacting [email protected] or by calling 888-413-9627. An appointment-friendly rental office is located at 4070 Asbury Ave.
Commissioner Burry delivered remarks at the ceremony.
“Today we are taking a small but tangible step in fulfilling our duty by providing an opportunity for those who have courageously served and sacrificed for all of us to have a chance at a better life,” said said Burry. “I hope things like this stop being special occasions soon. In pursuit of this day, I can only say two words – Limitless. “