Veterans group breaks ground on new housing project


LINCOLN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Central Illinois Veterans Commission with the help of 2×4’s for Hope, broke ground on the first of a few new homes that are being built for veterans in Lincoln.
The project has been years in the making. It’s part of the the Central Illinois Veterans Commission’s (CIVC) efforts to get veterans more stable housing.

“We’ve been working several years to get to this point. So it’s, it’s a big moment for us to do this. It really is,” Director of the CIVC Joe Schaler said.

2×4’s for Hope will build the homes in Lincoln, Illinois. The Illinois based-group stepped in to help the CIVC after efforts for more transitional housing hit a stand-still.

This is the first of three houses that will be built in this first wave of the project, but the CIVC has already gotten over 40 applications from veterans.

“We could build one a week and still not catch up with the need there is right in this area. It is it’s, they’re hidden in the shadows, but they’re out there,” Schaler said.

The CIVC was joined by veterans, community members, and area politicians for the groundbreaking today.

“For this tiny home behind this, we need to be doing this across the country. And this is a great example of communities coming together to help out our veterans,” Representative Darin LaHood said.

“It’s just another reminder that the community is dedicated to the success of the veterans and their families in this great state,” Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Terry Prince said.

For Schaler, this project means the world, He served in the marine corps. in Vietnam. He knows the struggles that veterans go through both while deployed and while back stateside. He can’t wait to hand the keys to the house over to the veterans when they are completed.

“It is you know, makes your heart very full right now for all of us to see the blessings even though we didn’t go the direction we thought we would I just think the good lord turned to us and said this is where you’re supposed to be,” Schaler said.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to include a statement from the co-founder of 2×4’s for Hope.

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