SALT LAKE CITY — Ten homeless veterans have moved into a new home built specifically for them.
The Valor House, located at 720 S. Valdez Drive in Salt Lake, gives the vets a roof over their heads and a chance to start a new chapter in life.
Once homeless, Darrel Stage felt plenty of excitement this week as he settled into his new home at The Valor House.
"Honestly, I thought I was in the wrong spot. It totally blew me away," Stage said.
He gave KSL News the grand tour of his new place Friday. It was stylish, spacious and included all the comforts of home.
- The Road Home ShelterLocation: 210 S. Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City, UT, 84101Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (no appointment necessary)Phone number: 801-746-5561, ext. 6301
- VA online Visit http://www.va.gov/homeless/ for information about the different kinds of aid available to homeless veterans.
"Here I just get the feeling of belonging, a feeling of well-being, (like) I'm worth something," Stage said.
It's a safe home for healing and hope, as the Army veteran aims to put alcoholism in his past and computer work in his future.
Programs at Valor House will focus on employment, mental health and substance abuse.
"It provides that home for them. They come into a place where they feel safe, secure — a clean facility," said Tim Carr, clinical coordinator at Valor House. "It gives them an opportunity to prepare for the future."
The $5.4 million building was paid for by grants from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Salt Lake Housing Authority, the Olene Walker Housing Fund and a handful of community partners.
It's also the first of its kind in the United States: a residential building built by a local housing authority and operated in partnership with the VA, and built from the ground up specifically to house homeless veterans.
"Another unique thing here is that we have a wing devoted just to female veterans," Carr said.
Ten veterans moved in this week. Nearly 20 more will join them soon, and staff will reach out to more homeless vets until they fill all 72 single rooms.
"It's a wonderful opportunity to establish a home," Stage said.