Earlier this year, I wrote about a terrific project providing apartments, supportive services and job training for veterans in central Milwaukee. On the green side, Veterans Manor earned a 92 out of a possible 100 points on a local "Green Built" standard, while enjoying a transit-accessible location with a Walk Score of 72. The building has a commercial kitchen that services both the residents and local schools while providing job training and experience.
Housing can be a formidable challenge for many veterans. They comprise a third of all U.S. homeless men, and the federal Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 107,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. More encouraging, perhaps, is that the unemployment rate for veterans isnow below the national average (6.3 percent compared to 7.9 percent), though the number goes up a lot when one specifically at post-9/11 veterans (10 percent). We’re right to remain concerned on both fronts.
I wrote that Milwaukee’s Veterans Manor should become a national model, and I was pleased that my article was picked up by the Center for Veterans Issues. This time last year, I also found a very impressive organic farm in California that trains vets in sustainable agriculture skills. Yesterday, noodling around the internet, I found a number of additional, very encouraging projects that combine sustainability with support for veterans.