Spruce Hill: Renovations Underway For Homeless Veteran Shelter
Many organizations in Philadelphia serve a very specific niche. With more than 22 years of service, the Philadelphia Veterans Comfort House hopes to give homeless veterans a chance to start over and become productive members of society.
The PVCH offered program 365 days per year. All programs are designed specifically for veterans, including addiction and abuse counseling, mental health services, open house meals on holidays and clothes and toiletries for those who need it.
With more than 47,000 homeless veterans nationwide PVCH helps those in need in the Philadelphia region. It’s located only three blocks from the Philadelphia VA Medical Center so veterans can have a safe warm place to go.
William Champion runs Philadelphia Veterans Comfort House’s day-to-day operations, and he is also a veteran. He served four years active duty in Germany and Turkey.
“Coming back, there’s no better way to help and serve my fellow veterans than to run an organization such as the Philadelphia Veterans Comfort House,” Champion said.
Veterans appreciate being greeted by a friendly face that understands their situation.
“[Philadelphia Veterans Comfort House] offers transitional housing for our veterans because we don’t want them to fall through the cracks,” said Dana Spain, president of PVCH. “We are their support and we offer them a place to land if there is nowhere else to go.”
The Baltimore Avenue location was in need of extensive repair with estimates exceeding $150,ooo. After asking the community for donations, they got to work.
“The renovation projects are in full force now, and the demotion team is coming through and just ripping everything out,” said Champion, who officially serves as PVCH’s Treasurer.
The renovations started in October of 2016 with the goal of refurbishing the basement. Once the basement was cleaned renovations expanded to fix the roof, electrical work, masonry and the bedrooms. The demolition team ripped everything out of the building to give the building and veterans a fresh start.
“We opened in the fall to provide a respectable, clean and safe environment,” Spain said. “We wanted to make it what veterans deserve.”
During the renovation process homeless veterans can still rely on PVCH for a hot meal, toiletries, clothing and a comfortable place to get out of the cold.
Holiday meals are also still available to veterans.
Renovations should be completed by July 4, 2017.
Philadelphia Veterans Comfort House is always in need of donations like canned food, toiletries and clothing. Their website has a full list of items needed.
– Text, video and images by Erin Patterson.