A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the renovation of the Marshfield Veterans Home on Ocean Street, which is nearly complete.
The town is working with NeighborWorks Housing Solutions on the project, which will provide apartments for eight homeless/at-risk veterans.
“It’s amazing. We’ve been watching this home be built, burned down, then rebuilt, and it’s phenomenal to see it actually in front of us,” said Carin Paulette, the Marshfield Veterans’ Services Director.
The project was five weeks to completion in February, but a three-alarm fire caused extensive smoke and heat damage through the building.
Rob Corley, the CEO of NeighborWorks, said it took a team effort to get the project back on track, including town officials, MacLeod General Contractors, Elton + Hampton Architects, and Construction Manager Dave Lovering.
“It’s been a long journey. But to be here on Veterans Day in Marshfield opening up our Veterans Home, which is nearly complete, is thrilling. What a turnout here today, there’s so many people,” said Corley. “What a great community, and they’ve really embraced this home from the very beginning. Especially after the fire, it even got more attention. The Marshfield Fire Department saved this building. A lot of times, a vacant building catches fire like that, for safety reasons they may not enter. In this case, they entered quickly to save this property, and we’re forever grateful – that’s why we’re here today.”
Former Marshfield Selectman Michael Bradley had an idea, and helped kick-start the project that was four years in the making.
“I saw it in the paper, I think it was a Hingham project, that was recently completed by NeighborWorks, and I said ‘why can’t we do this here?’ I contacted Rob Corley, who I’ve known for 30 years,” said Bradley. “Within a week we had a structure in place and a way to finance this, it was great.”
Voters approved the project for $450,000, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held in October of 2019.
“For me to stand here, it’s very near completion in January, it’s just really exhilarating to see that when people put their heads together and they get together for the right purpose, things can get done,” said Bradley. “This is a great example of our community taking care of our veterans.”
State Senator Patrick O’Connor and State Rep. Patrick Kearney secured $100,000 in state funding for the project as well.
The space includes eight individual apartments, floor-to-ceiling windows, individual cooking spaces, bathrooms, and common areas.
“I think it’s going to be hopefully a domino across the entire region and across the entire state. That domino will end in us making sure that there are no homeless veterans anymore in the commonwealth of Massachusetts. When I entered the Massachusetts legislature, the first speech that I gave was a speech to end veteran homelessness,” said O’Connor. “To create a commission to see what we could do as a state, and it’s this. There’s no one-stop shop answer to this, it’s little steps and progress that every community can make. Doing their own part to make sure that we eradicate veteran homelessness, and make sure that those who serve our country have a roof over their head and a place to call home.”
The building was originally constructed in 1857, and served as the South Grammar School. It was a temporary library, and was the Hancock Paints building from 1943 to 2005. The town purchased the property back in 2008, but it was under-utilized.
“I think it’s a representation of Marshfield’s commitment to veterans. Those who put on our country’s cloth, coming home, and making sure they have a roof over their head, and providing with them with services they need to be successful after their service,” said Kearney. “It’s very exciting, no veteran in this state or in this country should be homeless. We’ve made a commitment to make sure there isn’t a homeless veteran in Marshfield.”
The Marshfield Historical Commission will have a space in the building. A January move-in date is expected for the veterans.
“We hope to do more of them in other communities. We’re working with the town of Rockland, working with the town of Pembroke,” said Corley. “If every city and town in the commonwealth had just one of these properties, we would end veteran homelessness in Massachusetts. That’s our mission.”
Original Source: https://959watd.com/blog/2021/11/ribbon-cutting-ceremony-held-for-marshfield-veterans-home/