Saluting our veterans: Every hero deserves a home

Last updated on August 22nd, 2019 at 02:02 pm

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The Milwaukee Soldiers Home National Historic Landmark District is an invaluable historical asset to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the nation. Built just after the Civil War as  a  place  of  healing  for  veterans, this 90-plus acre district rests on the grounds of the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center and represents Milwaukee’s role in furthering veteran care in America. One of only 43 National Historic Landmarks in Wisconsin, it is the most intact Soldiers Home in the country and the only one with the majority of its surrounding recuperative village remaining.

Today, this great historic asset is threatened. In response, the Milwaukee Preservation Alliance and The National Trust for Historic Preservation, in partnership with key local, regional and national stakeholders, have spearheaded a renewed effort to protect, repair and rehabilitate the Milwaukee VA Soldiers Home District. The Milwaukee Preservation Alliance is at work to identify and capitalize upon opportunities to motivate the greater community and the VA to take steps to put the District, a national treasure, back into the service of veterans.
With wise stewardship, the Soldiers Home can be a place of enhanced services to veterans, commemorating the Civil War and honoring the sacrifice of veterans of all wars.

A coalition of organizations and volunteers concerned about saving the Soldiers Home are running a capital campaign to raise the private funds needed to restore six historic buildings  in  the  Soldiers  Home  Historic  District.  The campaign goal is $3,000,000, which will leverage an additional $37,595,000 to provide 101 units of housing for homeless veterans and provide community space and onsite  veterans  services.  Partners  in  the  campaign  include  the  Greater Milwaukee  Foundation,  Milwaukee  Preservation  Alliance,  Center  for  Veterans  Issues,  and  the  Housing  Authority  of  the  City  of  Milwaukee.

What does the current proposal include?

  • Adaptive reuse of six historic buildings
  • Preservation of interior and exterior historic features
  • 101 housing units for veterans and their families who are homeless
    or at risk of becoming homeless
  • Community space for veterans
  • On-site veteran supportive services

Project cost

$40,595,000 proposed funding sources include: Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Federal and State Historic Tax Credits, grants, fundraising and other soft financing options.

… “We are closing in on a successful completion of our campaign goal of $3,000,000, which will leverage an additional $37,595,000 for this amazing project. All gifts at this stage will help to get us to the finish line.”

Save the soldiers home funding sources

Phases One and Two

Project partners

  • The Alexander Company: Project Developer
  • The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee: Facility Operator
  • Center for Veterans Issues: Supportive Resident Service Provider
  • Uihlein/Wilson – Ramlow/Stein and The Alexander Company: Architects for the Administration Building (Building 1), the Old Main (Building 2) and the duplexes (Buildings 14, 18, 19 and 62)
  • JP Cullen: General Contractor

What services will be available to veterans?

  • Case management
  • Educational training and employment assistance
  • Benefits assistance
  • Temporary financial assistance
  • Peer-to-peer counseling
  • Recreational activities
  • Transportation assistance
  • Independent living skills training, including: cleaning, meal planning and preparation, laundry and personal finance
  • Wellness programs
  • Sobriety maintenance
  • Nutritional support
  • Outpatient clinical referrals
  • Referrals to partner organizations

Giving Opportunities

The campaign goal is $3,000,000, which will leverage an additional $37,595,000 to provide 101 units of housing for homeless veterans and provide community space and onsite veterans services. Partners in the campaign include the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Milwaukee Preservation Alliance, Center for Veterans Issues, and the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee.

To Donate – please go to savethesoldiershome.com Every hero deserves a home.

Take a walking tour – Explore the grounds. Download the free Soldiers Home walking tour app for your smartphone! Just search “Milwaukee Soldiers Home” on the App Store or Google Play.

Getting there – Located on the grounds of the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, west of Miller Park. Follow signage for the VA National Historic Landmark along I-94 (exit 308A)

Email – savethesoldiershome@gmail.com  

Phone – 414-939-4SHD (4743)

Volunteer List

Campaign co-chairs

  • Mick Hatch: Foley & Lardner
  • Patti Keating-Kahn: PK2Group
  • Carl Mueller: Mueller Communications

Campaign leadership team

  • George Banda: Allied Veterans Council
  • Jonathan Beck: The Alexander Company
  • Clark Crosby: Milwaukee Preservation Alliance
  • Jim Duff: Milwaukee County Veterans Service Office
  • Lori Gensch: Milwaukee Preservation Alliance
  • Jayne Holland: UW – Milwaukee
  • Dave Kurtz: American Legion – Wisconsin
  • James Madlom: Mueller Communications
  • Dawn McCarthy: Milwaukee Preservation Alliance
  • Joanne Seeger: Community Volunteer
  • Mike Thirtle: Bethesda Lutheran Communities
  • Peter Zanghi: Milwaukee Preservation Alliance

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