(NewsNation) — It’s been said that “home is where the heart is,” and no one believes that more than Dana Spain, the self-described serial entrepreneur who is the driving force behind Veterans Village, a new 47-unit housing community for veterans in Philadelphia.
“The mission of the foundation is to provide the American Dream,” Spain said. “Which is where everyone has a safe, respectable place that they’re proud to call home.”
The funding behind Veteran’s Village comes from the Joan and Bernard Spain Family Foundation and the Volumetric Building Companies (VBC), a nonprofit dedicated to providing affordable housing for vulnerable populations.
“Veterans come back from seeing some pretty unbelievable things when they serve for our freedom,” Spain, the founder of VBC Giving Foundation, said. “And sometimes have problems transitioning back into productive civilian life. So the very first thing that they should have is a safe, respectful, resilient home. Because without that home as a safe place, they can then get a job and get back into society.”
Veteran’s Village will serve as a template for future housing projects and give vets coming out of transitional environments an affordable place to live.
“What we see, unfortunately, here in Philadelphia is almost 1,000 of our homeless are veterans on any given night,” Spain said. “So it’s really important that we address the homeless population, but also for transitional housing for veterans coming out of addiction recovery programs. This is something that needs to be replicated across the country. And, unfortunately, the government isn’t doing it. So we’re doing it privately.”
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that 40,000-plus veterans are homeless on any given night. More than 4,000 are women — and many are single mothers.
Addressing and reducing these numbers has become a priority as Veterans Village lays its foundation.
“Female veterans have very few options once they are housing insecure or become homeless,” Spain said. “Many of whom have lost their children into the system because they didn’t have secure housing.”
According to Spain, most veterans can apply to live at Veterans Village and there is an application online.
You can learn more about the Veterans Village on their website.
Watch the full interview with Dana Spain in the video player above.