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New housing complex for unhoused veterans coming to Cleveland’s Southeast Side

Rendering of the Walter Collins Veterans Housing and Service Facility.
Provided by Union Miles Development Corporation
This rendering of the Walter Collins Veterans Housing and Service Facility shows plans for homes for 11 veterans and their families.

New housing for veterans experiencing homelessness is coming to Cleveland’s Southeast Side this fall.

The Walter Collins Veterans Housing and Service Facility will provide permanent housing to 11 veterans and their families, with plans to expand the center to include resources, programming and a community garden.

“A lot of times veterans, when they come home from serving the country, they become homeless. They just struggle to integrate back into society,” said Cleveland City Councilmember Kevin Bishop, whose Ward 2 will be home to the housing facility on what is now a vacant lot near the intersection of East 95th Street and Harvard Avenue.

Cleveland City Council recently approved a $750,000 grant from the city’s pandemic relief funds to the Union Miles Development Corporation, which will build and own the complex, to close the financing gap on the $2.7 million project.

“We’re going to really help a community that’s been overlooked for a long time,” Bishop said.

Walter Collins Veteran Housing will be the first housing development in years in Union Miles, a majority-Black and low-income neighborhood on Cleveland’s Southeast Side. UMDC Executive Director Roshawn Sample says she hopes this kickstarts more development in the area.

“It’s an area that’s experienced disinvestment for a long time,” Sample said. “We’re trying to build the momentum, and why not start with a population that’s in need of assistance? So we’re extremely excited.”

The funding from council covers the first phase, which will build the 11 housing units and offer them at a below-market rate between $600 to $750 a month. Housing vouchers will be accepted.

Rid-All Green Partnership, a farm in the Kinsman neighborhood, will work with UMDC to bring engaging programming onsite, instructing the residents on urban farming with a community garden, as well as other resources like workforce development and counseling.

Eventually, Sample said, the goal is to turn the site into a community center for the area’s veterans and expand programming.

UMDC plans to break ground this fall.

Abbey Marshall covers Cleveland-area government and politics for Ideastream Public Media.