Hearts & Homes for Veterans, Inc. buys new building

FORT MYERS, Fla.- An nonprofit organization that helps local veterans get off the street is taking the next big step– they bought a warehouse.

In September, WINK News spoke with Hearts & Homes for Veterans, Inc. as they were trying to raise enough money to find the perfect spot for a building. They are now remodeling a warehouse in the 2000 block of Alicia Street.

It may need a lot of work, but the organization is excited to call the nearly 10,000 square foot warehouse their new home.

“This building is ideal for what we need for our veterans in this area. It’s in the right locations, it’s where most of our veterans congregate to get their benefits, it’s where most our poor veterans live,” said Don Payton, the president of the organization.

The group wants to use the building as a safe haven for veterans who are struggling to get back on their feet. From giving them sleeping bags and food, to helping them get their own place and even giving them medical attention.
“Many of our veterans are not eligible for dental, unless you’re 100 percent disabled, so we want to get a dental chair in here,” Payton explained. “We also want to make sure they get minor medical so we’re going to have a medical facility. We want to have it where they can meet, where they can come in here and meet with their own peers.”

Hearts & Homes is busy remodeling the warehouse that’s been abandoned since 2007 and they tell WINK News they’re excited to start making a difference.

“They need it. We call it the VIP– Veterans Immediate Placement– they stood the lines for us, they shouldn’t stand the line to wait for regular basic services,” said Payton.

They hope to have the facility up and running by the beginning of next year.

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