WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Passageways is five years old, and in that time, the Wichita nonprofit has graduated 84 homeless veterans into their own housing.
“We are so happy to be expanding. Today, we got 100% support,” says Jennifer Garrison with Passageways. “The city council approved our build and that was the last piece of support we needed.”
Garrison and Passageways take homeless veterans and give them free housing. They also transition them by helping them get a job and get their own apartment or home.
Now, the group wants to expand. The Wichita City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to allow the group to build a planned unit development.
Passageways wants to build a gated community that will include homes for veteran women and families.
“We are not government funded so the community has really come together to support this program,” said Garrison. “Our next goal was to be able to provide a place where they could come that’s safe and a healing environment. It’s another extension of Passageways that we will be helping female heroes and those with up to three children.”
Those veterans in the current Passageways home say they welcome the expansion and hope others can get a helping hand as well.
“I was out, and I was homeless three years ago,” said homeless veteran Larry Epperly. “So I took a Greyhound two weeks ago, it was just over two weeks ago back to Wichita, and my ex put me up for two weeks until the VA turned me on to this place and the rest is history.”
Epperly hopes to graduate soon and get his own place. He’s looking for a job as well.
“They help with all that stuff. This place, I can’t say enough about,” said Epperly.
Garrison says Passageways is in fundraising mode now as it continues to graduate veterans into their own housing. They hope to begin building a gated community within the year, depending on fundraising efforts.
“This has all been because of the community,” said Garrison. “Wichita is just such a giving community. And our heroes deserve a chance to thrive.”
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