LONG BEACH, Miss. (WLOX) - A safe place that veterans can call home, that’s the goal of Equal Steps Veterans Home in Long Beach.
There will be sixteen beds and rooms for individuals and couples. As a bonus, you can also bring your pet. Whether you are recovering from surgery, suffering from PTSD or homeless, Equal Steps Veterans Home will be able to help.
“This facility is going to go back to achieving the goal of giving veterans a life as good as our own,” said Social Worker Marketing Director Cardella Mayho.
Equal Steps Executive Director Nekole Predium formed the nonprofit 28 years ago as a way to honor her uncle, Calvin Ray Johnson, who died in Vietnam at the age of 18. The Louisiana-based organization had been looking for a place to establish its first group home and found the house in Long Beach by accident.
Things have fallen neatly into place since then.
“Since we’ve been here, we’ve gotten nothing but love from the whole community,” Predium said. “Everybody has been very very supportive of us, and we’re just hoping to be able to give our contributions back to the community.”
They held a ribbon cutting on Wednesday, but won’t start moving people in until next month after they take care of some additional construction requirements.
Predium said the demand will be high.
“There is a long waiting list, but we’re trying to accommodate the first 16 that we can accommodate,” Predium said. “By the time we get our sprinkler system done, they will be welcome to come.”
Long Beach Mayor George Bass was there to welcome the facility.
“We’re a big veterans community here in Long Beach and to have this home here for veterans is just great for us,” said Bass. “Support here in the city is just going to be great.”
Initially, the home will provide limited services for the veterans who stay in the home. However, they are looking to expand next year by creating a one-stop-shop for veterans to receive a wide range of services.
In the meantime, the veterans here will be able to provide the kind of support to each other that only a veteran can provide.
“I think it will be a wonderful, wonderful thing for those who are stronger to help those who are not as strong get back to that place where they need to be,” said Mayho.