William Lee isn’t the first veteran of our armed forces to struggle with drugs, alcohol and homelessness. He won’t be the last, either.
But thanks to the dogged efforts of a variety of public and private groups, the 56-year-old Marine Corps veteran has a new apartment, and says he’s drug- and alcohol-free.
He was on hand Tuesday as Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter and others cut the ribbon opening Tyvola Crossing Phase II, a 20-unit apartment complex designed for low-income military veterans like him.
Leaders of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, the city of Charlotte, the Veterans Adminstration and an array of local charities celebrated the grand opening of the complex, located off West Tyvola Road in west Charlotte.
Charlotte is doing better by its veterans than many cities, but there is certainly more that can be done. Projects like the $2.8 million Tyvola Crossing complex represent a solid step in the right direction.
Federal officials say we have nearly 9,000 low-income veterans in Charlotte, and more than 1,000 are at risk of falling into homelessness. We should be proud of efforts such as the Tyvola Crossing project. But we have much work to do.
“These individuals have selflessly served our nation and made sacrifices on our behalf,” said Julie Porter, head of the housing partnership. “It is not only an honor but also our duty to ensure they have a safe, affordable place to call home.”
Indeed. Lee is happy to be living in what he calls “a beautiful place.”
As we observe Veterans Day, let’s get behind the public and private organizations working to offer that same kind of beauty to the many other needy veterans among us. Eric Frazier