Grand Rapids Home for Veterans are planning to build a new multi-million dollar, 120-bed facility in 2019 as Governor Rick Snyder approved the overarching plan this month. The plans come after a state audit released in February revealed inadequate staffing levels and a failure to properly investigate allegations of abuse, neglect and inadequate staffing at the home. WGVU spoke with Michigan Veterans Affairs AGency Director James Robert Redford about the new facility and how the agency has responded since the audit's release.
Brand new veterans facilities are planned for Michigan's two largest cities as early as 2019.
A 120-bed facility in Grand Rapids will replace the aging Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, and a similarly-sized facility in Detroit will be a new addition to the state's Department of Military and Veteran Affairs long-term care system.
The Michigan Supreme Court has awarded $750,000 in grants to 23 courts around the state for programs that help military veterans who have had brushes with the law. Instead of jail, veterans treatment courts steer offenders to programs that promote sobriety, recovery and stability.
Participants must undergo regular drug treatment. Officials say those who take part are less likely to break the law again and more likely to find a job and improve their quality of life. Volunteer mentors help link them with employers.