Major General Jacob Brown Veterans Manor is more than just a home for 50 low-income veterans in Green Bay, Wis. It’s also a place where the residents can find camaraderie as well as extensive supportive services to help them get their lives back on track.
Developed by Cardinal Capital Management and the Center for Veterans Issues (CVI), the 50-unit permanent supportive-housing project opened in June and serves veterans ranging from age 30 to the upper 60s from all branches of the military.
“We decided to build there in the Fox Valley because we knew there were a great number of low-income veterans living there, and there weren’t a lot of direct veteran services in the area,” says retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Robert Cocroft, president and CEO of CVI.
This is the second veterans development for Cardinal Capital Management and CVI in the state. They partnered on a permanent supportive housing project for veterans that opened in 2011 in Milwaukee.
Local support was key for Veterans Manor. The development team purchased the site, formerly a farm and a mental health hospital, from Brown County. The county provided 39 Sec. 8 vouchers, in addition to the 10 Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers, so the residents pay no more than 30% of their income for rent. The city of Green Bay also provided HOME funds.
“The county, the city, and the neighborhood were universally 100% for this. They look at this as their responsibility and obligation to do the right thing for veterans,” says Joe Thomae, asset manager at Cardinal Capital Management.
To honor the local support, the development is named in honor of a celebrated Army officer in the War of 1812 and Brown County’s namesake.
At Veterans Manor, case management is offered on site with an array of wraparound services since many of the residents battle issues preventing them from reintegrating into the mainstream, says Cocroft. And it’s conveniently located a half-mile from the new Milo C. Huempfner VA Outpatient Clinic, where residents can take advantage of additional medical and mental health services.
The development also includes a fitness center, a computer room, Internet connections, and a community room with a TV where residents gather for Green Bay Packers parties and other social events.
“Veterans have a need to live together in many cases, and Veterans Manor provides that type of environment that enhances camaraderie among the individuals who live there,” says Cocroft.
The $7.5 million development was primarily financed with low-income housing tax credits allocated by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority and syndicated by RBC Capital Markets. Additional financing included a permanent loan from Bank Mutual, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago Affordable Housing Program funds from member Bank Mutual, and a grant from the Home Depot Foundation. Additional partners on Veterans manor included Reichl Construction as the builder and Abacus Architects.