Homeward Bound shines again with housing plan for veterans – Marin Independent Journal

This year’s Veterans Day observations got a new twist.

Before flag waving, parades and speeches to thank the men and women who have served our country in our armed forces, there was a groundbreaking to celebrate the construction of a 24-unit apartment complex for homeless veterans.

The complex will be built in Hamilton at Novato, another impressive achievement by Homeward Bound, the largest provider of housing and supportive services for the homeless in Marin.

The project is an initiative launched by Sean Stephens, a county Veterans Services officer and Army veteran of four tours in Afghanistan. He had approached state Sen. Mike McGuire about the possibility of converting unused Coast Guard housing into apartments for homeless veterans.

Although that option proved unfeasible, McGuire did not give up on the idea. He sought out other opportunities at Hamilton, a former Air Force base, to fill this important need and show our respect and responsibility to those who have served in our military.

The City of Novato and Homeward Bound joined the effort, and the City agreed to lease a 2.8-acre parcel on North Hamilton Parkway, next to two other Homeward Bound complexes.

With state and local funds, construction is moving toward what Stephens likens to the military credo of “watching each other’s backs.”

Progress has been slower than expected due to the pandemic, which has increased construction costs, particularly for the expansion of Homeward Bound’s Mill Street shelter in San Rafael. The agency had to focus on raising money to complete that work.

Their progress has allowed the agency to bring work at the Hamliton complex back to the fore.

McGuire has been able to raise state funds in the budget and the project is in line for a 2014 Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Program Proposition 14 state grant.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *