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Home for female veterans nearing completion

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Albany/HV: Home for female veterans nearing completion
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According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, more than 130,000 veterans spent a night in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program in 2009. In Saratoga County, a new shelter for veterans is getting closer to opening. Our C.J. Spang has details on this unique project.

BALLSTON, N.Y. -- Along Route 50 sits a house built more than 200 years ago. The house is undergoing renovations so it's ready for its new occupants this summer.

"Definitely going to be worth it," said Saratoga County Rural Preservation Company Board Chair Julia Towne. "Opening up a shelter for women who need a place to stay. It's been three years of hard work, but in the end, I think we're going to be very pleased with the effort."

The Saratoga County Rural Preservation Company, a non-profit housing coalition, is in charge of the project, as part of its Veterans Housing, Employment and Lifeskills Programs.

"Ultimately, you will get yourself straight again, you'll get a good job and we'll help you find permanent housing so that within a year, year-and-a-half or two years, you're back in society as a productive citizen," said RPC Executive Director Budd Mazurek.

The approximately 4,400 square foot home will eventually house 11 female veterans and project leaders are trying to make changes that will better suit the women.

"It's a very serene place," Towne said. "I think it's going to be a nice healing place for women to come and regroup."

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Guardian House is June 23 and project leaders hope to get women in the facility in late July.

"Word is already out statewide to the various VA hospitals and facilities, that we're close to opening," Mazurek said. "So we will have women. There won't be a problem filling this facility."

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