Veteran resource center in Lorain, Ohio, considers new site
LORAIN — The Valor Home resource center for veterans could move to a location different from the St. Joseph Community Center, its planning committee said.
Yesterday, the executive committee of Valor Home Lorain County held its first general membership meeting in two months.
Although there was a break from public meetings, the committee members said they continued their work on the shelter and resource center for veterans in need.
That includes “contingency plans” to move the Valor Home to a new site. For months the center has been planned to occupy the fifth floor of the St. Joseph Community Center, but the committee members said that could change.
“We’re looking at contingency plans,” said Daniel Gillotti, chairman of Valor Home’s bylaws committee.
“We have to,” he said. “We have to protect that money.”
The center is to be funded with money from the federal Veterans Administration and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, said Matthew Slater, director of veteran’s services for Family & Community Services Inc., which is helping with the planning.
The money “potentially can be moved” to pay for renovation and operation of a different site, Slater said.
He also acknowledged the executive committee is scouting other sites in Lorain, but the committee members declined to say where new locations could be.
The grant agreements require the Valor Home committee to have the center operational by October 2013, the committee members said.
Recent deliberations by city, county and state officials about the fate of the St. Joe’s Center have slowed down the start of Valor Home, the committee members said.
Even so, they pledged to make the resource center happen.
“The Valor Home is going to happen regardless, that you can take to the bank,” said committee member Don Attie, who also led the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Committee of Lorain County.
Yesterday, the committee members voted to return three donations of $3,000 to veterans groups who contributed to Valor Home.
At least one of the groups committed to putting the money in escrow to be donated for use at a later date.
The public debate over operations of the St. Joe’s Center has hurt fundraising efforts, the committee members said.
“The money was rolling in, the phone was burning off the hook, then it just stopped,” Attie said.