The one-story, white cinderblock building, which serves as a transitional facility for homeless veterans, is getting small renovations thanks to a Home Depot group called Team Depot which supplied materials and labor for the project.
Two rooms are being painted and fitted with new sinks, while the side of the building is getting plants, mulch and a basketball hoop.
Joshua Peterson didn’t know about the basketball hoop, but was excited when he heard.
He’s been living at the Five Star Veterans Center for about a month, one of 29 veterans currently residing there. The 24-year-old recently got out of the Army and is trying to save up while he attends Everest University. He plans to be out of the center by June.
Peterson said all the veterans pitch in at the center, using their diverse talents to help out.
Five Star’s CEO Colonel Len Loving echoed that statement, saying the facility wouldn’t be able to operate with the help of the veterans who clean, landscape, wash dishes, and whatever else needs to be done.
He said the facility serves in-need veterans, but they don’t always fit into the homeless stereotype. “They’re not pushing carts down the street,” Loving said, “Many have cars and have lived in their cars.”
Many residents, diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, undergo comprehensive mental health treatment.
Loving said the treatment is one of the most important things they do at the facility, because it makes such a big difference in veterans' lives.
He said most of the people who come to the facility are middle-aged, divorced and paying child support.
The goal is to have people ready to live on their own within a year and the center tries to get them to save $2,000 before they leave.
Some tenants renovate their rooms, adding furniture or decorations. One room was outfitted with a green mesh canopy over the bed, reminiscent of Vietnam War era tents.
Team Depot Captain Wesley Johnson used his day off to help out. He worked with Peterson to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls of one room. Johnson said he’s a veteran himself and is happy giving back to fellow servicemen.
“It’s good to give them a nice place to stay,” Johnson said.