House for homeless veterans to open in Kingsport

The home, located at 371 Blakley Drive, is being renovated to accomodate 15 veterans. (Thomas Gray/WCYB)

A non-profit received zoning approval Wednesday in Kingsport to open a new 15 bed house for homeless veterans.

It will fill a void after the Salvation Army closed a similar program. Male veterans will soon occupy this house as they transition to homes of their own.

"They can stay here for a number of months,” Community Outreach Director Doug Murray said. “We help them with life skills. We help them to get jobs. Some of them will already have jobs. We help them with their medical needs through the VA."

Murray said workers are finishing up renovations on the home which will feature a game room, a computer lab and a yard for cultivating a garden.

"We work with them and help them with the ultimate goal for them to get back on their feet, get their own home, have a job, and start their life over," Murray said.

He added that the veterans may come for reasons other than homelessness.

"We have a lot of vets in this area,” Murray said. “Some of them have been wounded. Some of them are dealing with a lot of issues."

Army veteran Ernie Rumsby of the Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council said it is important help. His organization donated $5,000 dollars towards the renovation costs.

"There's an old saying that you can't feel good about yourself until you do something for someone else," Rumbsy said.

Appalachian Regional Coalition on Homlessness will run the home. It will hold an open house on February 15th from 1 to 4 p.m. You can visit the ARCH website here.

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