DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) - As many veterans across the country struggle to find affordable housing, one non-profit is hoping to make a change.
Full Circle Communities is a Chicago-based non-profit organization. Lindsey Haines, Vice President of Real Estate for the organization, said they noticed the need for veterans housing in the Dubuque area.
"And with some of the initial conversations we had when we were coming into Dubuque, we realized that it was an unmet need in the community and we wanted to make a dent in it," said Haines.
The organization purchased a former elementary and converted it into a modern apartment complex. It holds about 36 one and two bedroom units.
Each unit comes with a full kitchen, living room and laundry. The building also has two community centers.
Ron Drossler served in Vietnam and now lives in the building. He said he wants more veterans to come in so he can help those who have had difficulty adjusting to civilian life.
"Look at Vietnam, look at Afghanistan, look at Asia, look at these wars," said Drossler. "And you just can't expect these guys to be trained as killers, to kill, and then come back here and boom, 9-to-5 job. It doesn't work that way."
Because some veterans may not have access to V.A. support groups, Haines hopes the community of residents will be able to lean on a neighbor if needed.
"So some veterans prefer to live just with their families or on an individual setting," said Haines. "But there are some folks that may like this option because they can find community with other veterans."
Applications are open to the general public, however, a priority preference will be given to veterans. About 37,000 veterans were homeless in the United States in 2019.