In an effort to provide much-needed housing and programs for the city's homeless veterans, officials are dedicating the 61-unit Hardy Williams Veterans Center today in Southwest Philadelphia. Located at 6100 Eastwick Ave., Next City reports the center will provide "affordable apartments to aging homeless veterans while also providing on-site social services." There are more than 1,400 homeless vets on the streets of Philadelphia.
The center was developed and will be operated by HELP USA, a non-profit with a mission "to provide the housing and supportive services necessary to help the homeless and others in need to become and remain self-reliant." Its namesake, Hardy Williams, served during the Korean War and also as a state senator. His son, PA State Sen. Anthony Williams, was on hand to dedicate the complex.
Next City also reports that there has been a 33% decline in veteran homelessness since 2010. That's certainly encouraging, but given the eye-opening numbers of vets without access to housing or special programs such as nutritional care, access to medical facilities, counseling service or job training, there's still plenty of work to be done. The opening of Hardy Williams marks the fourth such facility in the Philadelphia area run by HELP USA.