FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina (WTVD) --The push for affordable housing in Fayetteville continues. Fayetteville Mayor Nat Robertson along with city staff met with developers Wednesday and moved forward with plans for a housing community to help veterans on the streets.
According to the North Carolina Department of Veteran Affairs there are nearly 900 homeless veterans in the state. Some of those told ABC11 they were glad to hear that help was on the way.
"Transitioning out of the army was kind of up and down. I struggled with it for a couple times," said retired Spc. Miller, who fought in the Gulf War. "I'm a PTSD disabled veteran."
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As if struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder wasn't hard enough, Miller would soon enter a new battle - homelessness.
"I guess you can say, the atmosphere, the climate of it all, it took a toll on me," Miller said.
With eight kids in tow, Miller bounced from family member to family member, tent to tent.
"I kind of tried to put them in a different frame of mind," he said. "Tell them, "it's a trip, we're camping out."
Miller finally connected with Family Endeavors, a national non-profit run by veterans that helps others find housing.
"I know how hard it is for someone to rent to you at a set income," said Michelle Blanding, director of Family Endeavors. "So we team up, get together and go out and try to find somebody to rent to them."
Their search is set to become easier as the city is in talks with Cardinal Capital Management to bring an affordable housing community for veterans.
The tentative site is at 7856 Raeford Road near the new VA Medical Center. Cardinal Capital is the force behind several state-of-the-art projects across the nation. For Miller, it's music to his ears.
"I think that would be great." Miller said. "There are a lot of homeless veterans in Fayetteville. I've seen them under bridges. I never thought I would be one."
The project would feature 50 or more housing units. It's in the beginning stages, and there's no word yet on when the facility will break ground.
"I was very happy with what I heard about the potential housing project," Robertson said. "This project would help veterans in our community who are in need of transitional and long-term housing and medical services. With the opioid addiction problem we have experienced in Fayetteville, this would be more good news to help us combat that issue. I am excited about the potential of the project and hope it comes to fruition."
Cardinal Capital's next steps will be to define the scope of the project and how the property should be zoned to accommodate that scope, the City of Fayetteville said in a release.
MORE ABOUT VETERAN HOMELESSNESS IN NC (.pdf)
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