The Stanley News & Press
February 23, 2015
The following is from the Department of Public Safety:
RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Public Safety is joining forces with the Veterans Leadership Council of North Carolina – Cares to better assist veterans that come in contact with the criminal justice system.
Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry signed a memorandum of agreement with the VLC. The charitable organization is in the process of developing a facility to provide transitional housing and therapeutic services to homeless and at-risk Veterans throughout North Carolina.
This facility will be known as the Veterans Life Center.
“It is our duty to honor and serve our veterans that have given so much to our state,” said Secretary Perry. “The Veterans Life Center will be an important step to address vital needs of our own veterans here in North Carolina, which is not only one of Governor Pat McCrory’s priorities, but one of the priorities at the Department of Public Safety.”
Perry outlined ways in which the DPS and VLCNC-CARES partnership will help to improve the lives of veterans. “Working groups will be established to design a program of mutual cooperation as a beginning. The DPS mission closely aligns with that of the Veterans Life Center,” he added. “This partnership will enhance services and change lives.”
“Governor McCrory has made veterans a priority in ways never seen before in North Carolina and that momentum continues to build. We are offering more services for more veterans in more places than ever before,” said Ilario Pantano, Marine combat veteran and Director of Veterans Affairs.
John Turner, Executive Director of VLCNC-CARES, was present at the signing. “We look forward to working with DPS as we bring the Veterans Life Center on line,” Turner said. “I want to thank Secretary Perry and his staff for their understanding and support of our program.”
Special Assistant to Secretary Perry, Brigadier General (Retired) James R. Gorham is overseeing the department’s efforts.
The Veterans Life Center will be located in a converted 56,000 square foot state-owned building on the campus of the John Umstead Hospital Complex in Butner. The building has been leased to VLCNC-CARES by the State, and is currently being renovated with funds from a $4.2 million Community Development Block Grant, awarded last year to VLCNC-CARES through the Town of Butner. It will house up to 150 homeless and at-risk Veterans, who will receive a customized battery of services including physical and behavioral health, life skills training, family reintegration, educational certification and community integration.
An additional seven buildings have also been leased by VLCNC-CARES, and will be renovated as Phase II of the Veterans Life Center, bringing the total capacity up to 400. Governor Pat McCrory referenced the Veterans Life Center in his State of the State address last week, citing it as one of the important veterans initiatives launched by his administration. Additional information is available at www.vlccares.org.