Gardiner Place aims to end homelessness among Chicago vets - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Gardiner Place aims to end homelessness among Chicago vets

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Homelessness remains a big problem facing Chicago and the state of Illinois. Particularly troubling are the military veterans who find themselves on the street.

Among those working to help veterans is A Safe Haven Foundation. FOX 32 News was there as the facility opened and it's first formerly homeless veterans prepared to move in.

Gardiner Place is open for business and considered to be one of a kind in east Dundee. It's affordable housing, not only for senior citizens, but veterans looking for a place to call home.

Paul Dalcour, a Vietnam era veteran, has gone through plenty of battles: war, substance abuse, alcoholism and homelessness.

But today, he's beaming. He's preparing to move in soon. After attending plenty of meetings about his personal battles, he's made it all the way here.

"Somewhere along the line, something clicked, like wow, this is the place I need to be right now," Dalcour says.

A Safe Haven foundation says he isn't alone. 25 percent of America's homeless are veterans.

"To be a part of that, to help them regain their dignity and to be a part of that transition, there's nothing like that," says Aurthur Westbrook, Director of Veterans Initiative. "It's the best way I know to give back."

One and two bedroom apartments are equipped with everything you can imagine: appliances, spacious bathrooms and bedrooms, and a washer and dryer -- items many may take for granted.

"This is just the beginning, to give them a community that they can be a part of and actually say this is theirs. That's giving back to veterans," Westbrook says.

It's a community that vets like Paul Dalcour can finally call home.

"It's like a dream come true," Dalcour says. "I mean this is something that I have worked for. And the work I put in, I must have put in the right work because it's panned out for me. And I'm a very grateful individual."

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