Carroll County Veterans Independence Project Vice President Ed Cramer came to the Veterans Advisory Council Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 21, to share progress on the project he hopes will help homeless veterans in the county.
CCVIP’s mission is to help the approximate 13,000 veterans in Carroll County, of whom an average of 8.75 percent is homeless at any given time, by offering veterans services at the vacant U.S. Army Reserve building on Malcolm Drive in Westminster.
“Currently there is no permanent shelter or transitional services specifically devoted to veterans,” CCVIP’s website states. “To address this issue, a steering committee consisting of local individuals, mostly retired veterans and other community volunteers have begun the process of acquiring, refurbishing and repurposing the USAR building.
“Hopefully and optimistically we can get to that point over the winter,” he said. “Hopefully a little before.”
But it costs money.
CCVIP President Frank Valenti told the Times in April it will take an estimated $4 million to fully renovate the 13,000-square-foot main facility and 2,000-square-foot motor pool on Malcolm Drive.
In addition to local fundraisers, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Maryland donated $10,000 in April and a $100,000 bond bill from the Maryland General Assembly is expected.
Fundraising efforts will continue this weekend with Saturday’s Carroll County American Muscle Club Benefit Car Show at Len Stoler Chevrolet in Westminster, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Volunteers are still needed for the car show, which expects about 300 registered cars, Cramer said. Anyone interested in volunteering can call CCVIP at 410-871-1478.
AM radio station WTTR will also be present at the car show, as well as Mission BBQ with its grill truck.
Also on Saturday, the United Coon Hunters Association of Hampstead will be collecting donations for CCVIP as well.
The association’s Save the Hero benefit dance is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday at the Coon Club, 2855 Coon Club Road.