A program for homeless military veterans recently purchased a new apartment building and will be able to house up to 21 people.
That's almost double the number the 9-year-old Veterans Fellowship program has housed in the past.Among those receiving new apartments is Dwayne Nored, who returned from his stint in the Army to find his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, mired in an economic depression. But Nored stayed because of family.
"You have to understand that my family was three generations of steel workers. That's all we knew, the whole town," he said.
After his parents passed away, Nored came to Utah where he had read that "the air was clean, there was low crime and the people were nice."
But Nored had little money and ended up homeless. Thanks to Veterans Fellowship, he and three others will move into their apartments next week.
Veterans Fellowship nearly lost its funding for the building last November, when Utah officials threatened to foreclose on a $200,000 grant from the Olene Walker Homeless Fund. But the program reorganized its administration and strengthened ties with other service organizations to keep the grant and subsequently a matching federal grant.
Those who receive housing are required to pass a rigid screening and obey a lengthy list of rules that includes no drugs or alcohol, said program director Ron Griffin.
Tenants are expected to pay $100 or 20 percent of their monthly income, whichever is greater, to stay at the apartments. There is also an 18-month time limit on how long they can stay.
"I'll be staying hopefully for only four or five months. This is a good foundation for what I want to do," Nored said.
There are approximately 90 homeless veterans in the Ogden area, according to John Vickroy, chairman of the Veterans Fellowship board. That number represents one-third of the Ogden homeless population, a number consistent with national figures.