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Volunteers of America Plans Multifamily Housing Complex on former Silver Cross Hospital Campus in Joliet

New Lenox, IL (Jan. 8, 2013)—Volunteers of America—Illinois (VOA) has submitted a proposal to the City of Joliet to construct and operate a multifamily housing complex for U.S. military veterans and their families on the former Silver Cross Hospital campus.  This project will compliment the new Veteran’s Outpatient Clinic opening in spring 2013 as part of the campus redevelopment plan.

The proposed project, named Hope Manor Apartments Joliet, will consist of three multistory buildings surrounding a large recreational green space and community park at the southwest corner of Copperfield Avenue and North Hebbard Street.   The project will provide 88,000 sq ft of supportive housing for up to 78 Veterans and their families through a variety of rental apartments that will include 30 one-bedroom units, 18 two-bedroom units and 24 three-bedroom units.  If approved by the City and State, residents could move in as soon as January 2015. 

The City of Joliet Land Use Committee will review the project on January 10, 2013.  Later that day at 6:00pm, the City is hosting a neighborhood meeting for VOA to present details and answer questions about the Veteran’s housing project.  

Founded in 1896, Volunteers of America is one of the Country’s oldest and largest human service organizations serving more than 2 million people every year in 400 communities throughout the United States.  VOA is the largest non-profit provider and developer of high-quality, safe, affordable housing with more than 23,000 units across the country including Marycrest Village, a 60-unit supportive housing development for low-income seniors in Joliet. 

“We believe that having a permanent place to call home is a critical component to helping struggling Veterans lead stable and productive lives,” said Nancy Hughes,  President of Volunteers of American of Illinois. “This new complex will provide area Veterans and their families with permanent housing.” 

Proven Track Record of Veteran Housing

VOA was one of the first human service organizations to partner with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to address the growing problem of homelessness amongst Veterans after the Vietnam War and continues to be a leader in responding to the challenges facing returning Veterans. VOA of Illinois currently serves more than 500 Veterans every year through their True North Project, a comprehensive program designed to help all Veterans achieve stability and reach their full potential. Hope Manor Apartments, located on the Westside of Chicago, provides housing and supportive services to 80 Veterans. The $14.5 million dollar project was completed in 2011 and is 100% occupied. Hope Manor II Apartments, located on the Southside of Chicago, will be home to more than 70 Veterans with families. The $23 million project, built on land donated by the City, used LIHTC for construction and will be open in late 2013. 

The proposed $20 million Hope Manor III project on the eastside of Joliet will be built on 3.21 acres of land donated by Silver Cross.  “We are excited about this project as VOA has the expertise and a proven track in delivering high quality, safe, permanent housing for Veteran’s across America,” said Margie Woods, Chairperson of the Silver Cross Health Community Commission.  “This project makes perfect sense considering the other redevelopment initiatives currently underway with the VA and Aunt Martha’s on the Joliet campus.” 

Former Hospital Campus Redevelopment Taking Shape

In addition to the proposed veterans housing, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is in the midst of renovating the former Silver Cross Hospital Emergency Department to open a new 60,000 square foot Veterans Outpatient Clinic in Spring 2013.  Area Veterans will have convenient access to new and enhanced outpatient services including women’s health, home based primary care, laboratory, mental health and social work, pharmacy, physical therapy and rehabilitation, retinal imaging, nutrition, geriatrics, and telehealth.  

Just east of the Veteran’s Outpatient Clinic, Aunt Martha’s Youth Services is building a 20,000 square foot Federally Qualified Healthcare Center (FQHC).  The Joliet Community Health Center will also open in 2013 offering primary care, dental services and behavioral health services to the residents on the eastside of Joliet.  

“We are delighted that the former Silver Cross Hospital campus is being put to good use to provide much needed services to area residents including our country’s veterans,” says Paul Pawlak, President and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital.  “We made a commitment that when we relocated that hospital that we would make sure that we would leave the property in good hands—and we are doing just that!”

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