On this special Veterans Day, 11-11-11, we are proud to celebrate another homecoming here in Binghamton, in upstate New York.
What happens to veterans as they age? Some can stay at home but others find themselves, along with other elderly, needing a low cost place to live. Some are disabled, due to their war injuries, or for other reasons.
In a way, they are the invisible among us. Who is to know if that elderly man or woman walking down the street is a war hero, or otherwise sacrificed so that we might enjoy our freedom?
There are a couple of senior/disabled housing projects in downtown Binghamton where these elderly/disabled vets (and non-vets) can find decent places to live. One is North Shore Towers, run by the Binghamton Housing Authority - two towers and garden apartments, just blocks from where I work. The other, Woodburn Court, is one tower and a series of garden apartments, privately owned, next to North Shore Towers.
Both complexes were heavily damaged in the flood our area suffered September 7 and 8 due to over 10 inches of rain received from Tropical Storm Lee. Residents had to find housing with local relatives, with friends, in shelters. They were displaced for over two months.
It cost over $3 million to restore North Shore Towers. (the garden apartments are still closed, as is all of Woodburn Court.)
Monday, ahead of schedule, North Shore Towers reopened.
Now the veterans are back home and can celebrate 11-11-11 where they belong - with their friends and neighbors. Homelessness is such a problem for vets (and that subject is worth another post) - I am so happy these elderly vets and their friends, at least, are home at last.
Tomorrow - more flood recovery