The Helen Ross McNabb Center proudly celebrated the ribbon cutting of its newest Veterans Housing project on Oct. 29 in Knoxville.
The permanent, supportive housing provides homes for 10 military veterans who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
A crowd of nearly 100 people, including local and state elected officials, gathered to see the ribbon cutting and to hear remarks by City of Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero; Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs; Jerry Vagnier, Helen Ross McNabb Center president and CEO; Susan Conway, Helen Ross McNabb Foundation Board chair-elect; Richard Maples, Helen Ross McNabb Center Board chair; Katie Moore, Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) representative; and Eddie Mannis, founder of HonorAir Knoxville. In addition to the ribbon cutting, the building was dedicated in honor of Charles Burchett, Sr., and the adjoining gardens and walking trail were dedicated in honor of Senior Airman Brandon Alan Hall.
The Center is excited to expand Veterans’ Housing services to fill a need in the community, and it now has a total of 33 units specifically for veterans. The new 10-unit building, named Middlebrook Gardens, marks the third Veterans Housing complex implemented by the Center in the past three years. It was made possible through the Helen Ross McNabb Foundation with private philanthropy in partnership with the City of Knoxville, Knox County, THDA and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing.
“I am very proud to announce on behalf of our organization and our community that we have created a place for veterans in need to call home,” said Jerry Vagnier, president and CEO. “A place where they an have a fresh start to change their lives.”
After the dedications, the ribbon was cut. Then, community partners toured the apartment building. The hope and excitement that fills the veterans’ homes was tangible.
The Center is so thankful Middlebrook Gardens provides a safe, therapeutic place for homeless veterans in need, and it is on the same campus as the Military Services Outpatient Center. This provides a unique, innovative combination of services that greatly increases the housing residents’ ability to receive support.
With its new veterans housing at Middlebrook Gardens, the Center will continue to serve those who courageously served our country by providing access to the resources they need to continue healthy, purposeful living.