By CAROL B. LONG
Cherokee Seed Corn Inc. has been awarded a $10,123 grant from the Evergreen Foundation based out of Waynesville. The grant is to help renovate 10 rooms and a kitchen/dining area at the Home Stead Motel to serve homeless veterans.
The Veteran Housing is the pilot project for the 7th generation programs that Cherokee Seed Corn Inc. is focused on. Plans are to expand to family housing to reconnect veteran families as the veteran is more capable of adjusting to civilian life. Future projects will be announced as funding becomes available.
“Veteran Statistics show that on any given night more than 300,000 veterans are living on the streets our in shelters in the U.S,” states information at veteransinc.org. “That number is rapidly growing due returning veterans from the recent wars.”
Veteransinc.org also reports, “Primary causes of homelessness among veterans are:
- Lack of income due to limited education and lack of transferable skills from military to civilian life (especially true of younger veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan)
- Combat-related physical health issues and disabilities
- Combat-related mental health issues and disabilities
- Substance abuse problems that interfere with job retention
- Weak social networks due to problems adjusting to civilian life
- Lack of services”
“Board members of the Cherokee Seed Corn Inc. are very thankful for the support from the Ever Green Foundation to make our facility a place where veterans will be connected with services as they work on a positive future,” Cherokee Seed Corn Inc. officials said in a statement. “We have received a grant from Focus of the Appalachian to print brochures and create a website which should be completed in May. We also recognize our fundraising team who work hard for us. Jaime Welch and Cindy West have been heading our fundraising and coming up with creative ideas to move us forward.”