Veteran non-profit group breaks ground on housing project in Loris
LORIS, S.C. (WMBF) - A veteran-founded non-profit organization broke ground on a first-of-its-kind facility in Horry County.
Billy Arehert founded Providing Hope VA in 2018 after his time in the military, with the vision and mission of supporting veterans facing financial difficulties, homelessness, unemployment and those in need of treatment.
“The transition home is very difficult for most veterans,” said Arehert.
He said the veteran population in South Carolina continues to grow along with the need for veteran assistance.
The new $2.5 million “Providing Hope VA Center” in Loris will offer emergency, transitional housing to homeless veterans accommodating both military men and women along with their children and service animals.
Arehert said the passion for helping other veterans came after he retired and battled at times with adjusting back to civilian life with no sense of help or direction.
“I was shocked with so many resources available how many veterans were in homeless shelters,” said Arehert.
Dozens of veterans were in attendance for the groundbreaking ceremony, including Bruce Donegan who served in Vietnam. He said a resource like this could have saved the lives of many veterans returning home from combat.
“Statistics show just as many veterans from Vietnam died from committing suicide versus those killed in combat,” said Donegan.
Providing Hope VA has already been contacted by veterans interested in the new facility.
Construction is expected to last several months before opening later this year.
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