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WBZ Cares: Boston Based Non-Profit Helps At Risk Homeless Veterans

BOSTON (CBS) - The WBZ Cares Campaign continues for the month of November.

Each month, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what it does for the community.

For the month of November, WBZ profiles "New England Center & Home For Veterans," a national leader in housing and serving veterans who are at risk of homelessness.

The Boston-based group offers services throughout the region, supporting and connecting veterans with innovative services that enable success, meaningful employment, and dignified independent living.

They also run a facility in Downtown Boston with affordable apartments, a separate female veterans transitional dormitory, and an emergency shelter for those who need a place to stay.

Currently, 250 veterans reside at NECHV each night and are served over 100,000 meals in a year period.

The center is undergoing a massive renovation. President Andy McCawley says once that project is complete, there will be 97 permanent apartment units for both male and female veterans.

"Every one of these apartments will accommodate a wheelchair," he said. "They will be roughly between 450- 480 square feet, efficiency layout so they will have a galley kitchen and a seating area,"

The new configuration will have 97 permanent supportive units and will have 175 transitional beds.

McCawley said once a veteran enters the program staffers work with them immediately to get them permanent housing within 90 days and at the longest 6 months.

In addition to housing aid, the staff does this by provides work training programs, mental health and substance abuse counseling, hot meals and a health clinic.

The goal? To provide veterans the tools to achieve independent living and meaningful employment.

"The goal of the center is to be a human resource, so the veterans can get connected, stay connected, and be successful. So as we reach the end of achieve and the end of veteran homelessness, doesn't mean the need for human services will go away. We want to be a resource for Veterans in the community for essentially generations in the future, and we will have a brand new building in a great location to do that." McCawley said.

He also says that watching his dedicated employees work their magic and help transform the lives of the veterans they serve makes it all worthwhile.

"We have almost 100 employees that are passionately committed to serving veterans," said McCawley. "So I think I am inspired every day by watching the passion of the people who serve veterans and then also inspired by the veterans themselves."

They do come here with some very significant challenges and they persevere and they overcome those barriers," he said.

If you'd like to know more about NECHV, volunteer or wish to make a donation, visit their website

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