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January 23. 2013 7:29PM

Soldier's On Project in Plymouth nears fund-raising goal

PLYMOUTH - The Plymouth-area fund-raising effort to support the Soldier's On New Hampshire Project has good news for the project and for area vets.

"I am pleased to report that our community's fund-raising effort for Soldier On's N.H. project has raised $61,633 toward our $75,000 goal," said Joyce Palmer, the resource development director for the Lakes Region United Way at Whole Village Family Resource Center.

Soldier On is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that works with the Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies to provide veterans with shelter and support in an environment that offers dignity, integrity and hope.

The organization's mission is to offer a permanent source of care for veterans, including immediate and long-term housing with services delivered where they live.

The project is designed to assist them in their transition from homelessness to home ownership.

Soldier on has 15 veteran housing sites in nine states. Services offered include mental health therapy, substance abuse counseling, job training and even employment opportunities.

A fund-raising effort for Soldier On's first New Hampshire permanent housing community began several weeks again., said Cathy Bentwood, director of the Bridge House Homeless shelter in Plymouth and a member of the local Soldier On leadership team.

The goal is to alleviate the problem of homeless veterans in the North Country and statewide, she said. The group is planning a veterans' housing facility in Holderness, though details of the project are still being worked out.

The facility would house about 50 veterans living in small, single-residency units. They would buy into the facility, paying an initial fee of about $2,500, and then would pay a monthly rent toward ownership.

The goal for Phase 1 of the fund-raising project is $75,000, which will cover the predevelopment costs. The estimated total cost is $5-million-$6.25-million.

Those wishing to contribute send a check directly to and made out to Soldier On Foundation, noting "N.H. project" in the subject line.

Checks can be left with Cathy Bentwood at the Bridge House at 260 Highland St., Plymouth.

Checks can also be sent directly to the Soldier On Foundation at 421 North Main St., Building 6, Leeds, Mass., 01053. Note "N.H. Project" on the check and address to the attention of Maggie Porter.

Donations may also be made online at www.wesoldieron.org via credit card.

dseufert@newstote.com

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