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Homeless Veterans Home Needs Help to Finish

The only homeless veterans shelter in the region could need your help to finish.

BASTROP -- Even though the Fort Hero Veteran's Barracks in Bastrop was christened last Wednesday, it's far from finished.

The converted old building's graffiti on the walls and lack of air conditioning shows there's a lot of work ahead.

"You're talking 45 bedrooms, a kitchen, dining room, everything," Northeast Louisiana Veteran, George Anzelmo, said. "Most of the wiring's been stolen, most of the plumbing's been stolen and just about everything that wasn't stolen, they tried to break it to death."

The NELA Veterans Association is working to turn this more than 26,000 sq. ft. of emptiness into the only homeless veterans home in the region.

They hope to house 100 veterans, men and women, young and old, in one year's time.

To do it, they'll need donations.

"To be  honest with you, in funds, I'd like to see $300,000 or $400,000, right off," NELVA President, Al Sanders, said. "We want to make sure this building is viable."

"If one dollar from every family in Northeast Louisiana was donated, you'd be surprised how much money we would have here to work with," said NELA Veteran, Gary Littleton.

The home needs not just donations of money, but donations of volunteers and experts in building.

"Tell me and the rest of our boys how is the best way to accomplish getting from Point A to Point B," NELA Veteran, Stewart Bashner, said.

Some Bastrop business leaders are already stepping forward.

"I'm going to try to help them out with the floors," said Lonnie Carroll, Owner of Bastrop Super Lube. "I retired as a flooring contractor after 32 years of service and this is something I can do and I do it well."

The NELVA said this shelter needs to be finished to save those that came back from battle only to be down on their luck.

They want to give them that second chance.

"Men and women out there that are homeless, we want to give them their pride back," Littleton said.

"There's people that are living underneath the interstate bridges right now and if they don't believe me, go look. They're there," said Anzelmo.

If you'd like to help out with the homeless veterans home, you can call the NELVA at (318) 235-0270 or (318) 557-4767.

You can also E-mail any inquiries to alsanders.louisiana@yahoo.com or sbash77918@aol.com.



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