A project underway at the Fort Whipple Veteran’s Hospital site will provide 103 apartment units for Prescott-area veterans who are seniors, homeless or at risk of housing loss. It is scheduled for completion by 2024.
Administered by US Vets with the involvement of developers Gorman & Co. and Prescott architect Doug Stroh, the construction underway involves renovating six houses that were formerly officers’ quarters into a total 23 units, with construction soon to start of an 80-unit apartment building close by on 2.3 acres. The two areas will be connected by walkways, integrating food service, 24-hour support staff and other services.
“It will help significantly” in alleviating the housing shortage, said Matthew Phillips, Development and Communications Manager for US Vets. The goal of the nonprofit group is to eliminate veteran homelessness in Northern Arizona. Since 2003, the Prescott-based organization has placed over 6,500 veterans in temporary or permanent housing.
Phillips acknowledged that the scarcity of housing rentals has made it increasingly hard for low-income veterans to afford to continue living in Prescott, making the project more urgent than ever.
“It’s all about affordable housing, especially since there’s a 99% occupancy rate in this area,” Phillips said. The buildings will also acknowledge the area’s importance and the service of the veterans living there.
“We’ll have educational plaques to honor the history of Ft. Whipple and its significance in the community and the area, and to honor the veterans who served their country,” Phillips said.
Similar to the nearby $10 million Liberty Pointe campus, which opened in 2019 and provides services and 74 housing units, the Ft. Whipple campus will offer employment assistance, case management, individual and group counseling, temporary and permanent housing, and life-skills training. Occupational therapy and physical therapy will be available at the VA hospital.
US Vets won a veterans-housing grant of $2.4 million from the state government in addition to $3 million from the Arizona Department of Housing, a $100,000 grant from the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, and $66,000 in City of Prescott grant funds to pay for the Ft. Whipple housing project.
“We’re just incredibly grateful and honored to be serving these veterans and this community,” Phillips said. “We’re proud to be able to help them in a time of need to be self-sufficient and independent.”
Prescott residents can contribute to the project or to services with tax-deductible donations to US Vets, or by attending a benefit concert in January. Award-winning singer Tony Orlando will perform at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center on January 13 at 7pm to celebrate the 20th anniversary of US Vets. For more information about the concert visit ycpac.com, and to donate directly visit usvets.org/locations/prescott.
In 2021 at its Liberty Pointe location US Vets served 49,923 meals, held 624 educational classes, did 62 job placements and helped 112 veterans obtain permanent housing, providing a total 27,925 bed nights and serving 379 veterans. Its total budget was $6.2 million.