FIVE STAR HISTORY
In late 2011, retired Marine Colonel Len Loving was asked by Allied Veterans of the World to convert an aging nursing home into a place where homeless veterans could regain their dignity and build the skills necessary to regain control of their lives. A place that would provide safe housing, meals, assistance obtaining VA Benefits and medical care, Internet access and basic job training to homeless veterans, many who deal with PTSD, TBI and substance abuse. In spring 2012, 20 veterans were moved in.
In 2013, the principals of Allied Veterans of the World were arrested for running illegal gambling cafes and the Center’s primary financial support was lost. The Veterans Center was not associated or charged with any illegal dealings, but without funding, current residents were at risk of once again becoming homeless. Colonel Loving and several others donated countless hours to ensure the Center survived. The name was changed to Five Star Veterans Center, a new Board was established and private donations were solicited.
Today, 31 residents live at Five Star and participate in programs to help them get back on their feet and reenter the workforce. The Center continues to assist veterans, recently expanding services to include on-site mental health counseling.