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Revitalize CDC Awarded $730,000 Grant to Continue Work for Veterans

SPRINGFIELD — Revitalize Community Development Corp. and its JoinedForces initiative announced they were awarded a $730,000 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to continue their mission to support military veteran families.

“We are one of 10 nonprofits nationwide [to receive] this particular grant that we were awarded,” said Colleen Loveless, president and CEO of Revitalize CDC.

This statewide grant will be used to modify and rehabilitate the homes of more than 51 military veterans, and she said there are already well over 100 applications, with virtually no community outreach done yet.

The funds will be used to remedy safety hazards in the home; install energy-efficient features such as insulation, heating system repairs, and Energy Star appliances; and make age-in-place modifications, including the installation of grab bars and ramps.

The announcement took place at the home of Lonnie Chappell, a U.S. Marine veteran who served in Vietnam, and his wife, Mary. Revitalize CDC first visited the Chappell home in 2017 to perform yard work, but is now back to do more in-depth work on the house.

U.S Rep. Richard Neal attended the event and expressed his desire to continue the program, long after the three years it is funded for currently.

“We always participate in the celebration of Veterans Day and Memorial Day, but we can’t miss the point that this is the real opportunity to honor those obligations,” he said. “We’ve got men and women here that acknowledged and honored the call, and as they age, it is our responsibility to make sure they are cared for with the same determination that they served us in their youth.”

Other elected officials and representatives, such as Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Nyanna Lorraine Slaughter, staff assistant for U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, were in attendance to support the boost of the program.

Revitalize CDC has completed more than 800 homes and 42 nonprofit facilities, improved neighborhood parks, and created community gardens with the help of 10,000 volunteers investing $35 million into Western Mass.

“We’re hoping the program will continue after three years because there’s such a need and demand in our community and throughout the state,” Loveless said.

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