The nonprofit National Center for Housing Management (NCHM) organization announced on June 25 a $100,000 grant in support of the Save the Soldiers Home project, on the grounds of the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center overlooking Miller Park.

When completed, the project will restore six historic buildings, some dating back to the 1860s, and create 101 supportive housing units for veterans and their families who are either homeless or at risk of being homeless.

The donation was announced by NCHM Chair Wendy Burke at its first-ever Veterans for Housing Initiative (VHI) Summit held in Washington, D.C. last week. The VHI is an effort to attract, train and welcome veterans of the U.S. military to careers in the housing industry.

“With our mission to professionalize the housing industry, we are extremely aware that many veterans lack quality, affordable housing themselves,” said Ms. Burke. “The Save the Soldiers Home campaign is the perfect fit for us to demonstrate our commitment to this important cause.”

The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee and the Alexander Company of Madison are leading the project. In addition, The Alexander Company is serving as the project developer and architect.

“The Alexander Company is honored to call NCHM a partner on the rehabilitation and restoration of this National Historic Landmark, and are proud that through our work we’ll be able to return these six buildings to the veterans they were built to serve,” said Joe Alexander, President of The Alexander Company.

NCHM is a national non-profit with strong local connections. Ms. Burke is a life-long resident of Milwaukee and is president of Milwaukee-based Burke Properties. Ms. Burke’s late father, John J. Burke, Jr., was chairman of NCHM from 1981 to 2018. Additionally, NCHM’s president, Paul Votto, is a longtime resident of the Milwaukee area.

“Wendy and I knew we wanted to serve and support the Save the Soldier’s Home development the minute we toured it,” said Votto. “It is truly a magnificent project and is a parallel to our Veterans for Housing Initiative.”

The goal of the Save the Soldiers Home campaign is to serve veterans by renovating and restoring the six iconic buildings of the Soldiers Home to their original purpose – the service of veterans. It has been a place of healing for Wisconsin veterans since 1867.

The Milwaukee Soldiers Home is one of the three original Soldiers Homes in the United States and is one of Milwaukee’s most important historic assets. NCHM is a non-profit organization created by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1972, providing objective and independent leadership in helping to meet the Nation’s housing management needs through education, professional certification, and technical assistance.

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Lee Matz