Sarasota celebrates first ever veterans housing project
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) — A groundbreaking ceremony was held on 25th St. in Newtown at 5 p.m. on Monday to celebrate the first ever veterans housing project in Sarasota.
The Gulf Coast Community Foundation with the help of partners and generous donations are the ones bringing 10 rental units to help low-income veterans.
Senior Vice President of Gulf Coast, Jon Thaxton said they have invested over $7 million into helping homelessness and providing affordable housing. Thaxton said this project is small portion of that investment and they hope to have veterans in the rentals within the year.
“We’ve been able to identify around 100 veterans that are suffering from housing insecurity,” said Thaxton.
Thaxton went on and explained the work doesn’t stop even after this project is completed.
“We have tens of thousands of families in Sarasota County that are suffering from housing insecurity. For our economy and our quality of life to continue to prosper, those people also need safe and affordable housing,” said Thaxton.
William Sterbinsky is a former Marine Corp Veteran and co-founder of SRQ Vets helping with the project. He said there needs to be more of a focus on reintegrating veterans into civilian life.
“Instead of Uncle Sam saying thanks for your service good luck to you,” said Sterbinsky.
Sterbinsky said veterans deserve better, with many who have accomplished a great deal in the military.
“Why can’t we bring them together? Hopefully, these types of communities do that, and each community should be doing that. Each community should be coming together as veterans to reidentify as, call it the new barracks, the new unit, call home that. Those are the transitional words,” said Sterbinsky.
Congressman Greg Steube also spoke at the ceremony and said as a veteran this is a project he wanted to be apart of. Steube also added that this project is a blessing.