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Our View: Veterans project deserves approval

We've long supported efforts aimed at doing more to help our veterans and applaud those who do.

TLS Veterans is one of many organizations in McHenry County trying to help. Its mission is to provide the highest-quality services available, rendered in a compassionate manner that promotes dignity and personal choice to veterans.

The nonprofit's latest venture is trying to provide affordable housing in McHenry for veterans. The McHenry City Council recently annexed property at the southeast corner of Ridge Road and Route 120. Two homes sit on that property, but, with city approval, TLS Veterans hopes to tear down the homes and build three eight-unit, two-story buildings, Deputy City Administrator Doug Martin said.

TLS Veterans operates New Horizons – a transitional-living center in Hebron that opens its doors to homeless veterans throughout northeast Illinois – and a drop-in center in McHenry that serves as a hub for a Lake County and McHenry County initiative focusing on the well-being of veterans and military families.

At New Horizons, the group uses a three-track approach to guide struggling veterans back to a fulfilling and dignified life – residential stability, improved skills and greater self-determination. Veterans who come to the shelter are dealing with addiction, alcoholism, trauma, mental illness, unemployment, underemployment and chronic illness.

New Horizons' goal is to return veterans to residential stability within nine months, but residents can stay at the center for up to two years. It also offers TLS-Aftercare – case management services and crisis intervention – for graduates from New Horizons who live within the community.

Providing affordable, permanent housing for veterans is another worthy goal of TLS Veterans. If its plan is sound and meets city criteria, we encourage the city of McHenry to approve the project.


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