Transitioning from active service to civilian life can often be full of complications for Veterans.
Even Veterans who have effectively returned to civilian life can still experience unforeseen challenges at times. Senior Veterans can be especially vulnerable when attempting to care for themselves on their own. For example, a 2019 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs study found that Veterans aged 55-74 accounted for 38% of all suicides by Veterans in 2017.
Under planned development, Spero Veterans Housing in Wisconsin will be an affordable and safe 60-unit Veterans’ preference housing community that is here to make these transitions smoother.
With our eight-acre community setting and in-house support services, Spero Veterans Housing is centrally located in Milwaukee. It includes all of the social support and amenities a Veteran requires to experience successful tenancy and a life of independence.
What Spero Veterans Housing Is
Under current development, Spero will be located just 15 miles south of downtown Milwaukee and 20 miles north of Kenosha. Spero Veterans Housing is a permanent supportive housing community that offers comfortable single-room occupancy (SRO), studio, and one-bedroom units at affordable prices.
We are a Veterans’ preference community, but we do not restrict our occupancy to Veterans only. We are also open to Veterans’ families, which are defined as spouses of Veterans and family members whose head of the household is a Veteran.
Spero Veterans Housing offers financial assistance in association with various governmental and non-profit agencies. Additionally, we assist with locating appropriate physical and mental health services, and employment services, through non-profit and government agencies.
Spero Veterans Housing offers comfort, safety, and convenience when Veterans need it most. As a permanent supportive housing community, Spero Veterans Housing aims to promote the independence of Veterans by providing a stable and accommodating living environment in Milwaukee.
Spero Veterans Housing is committed to helping Veterans re-establish themselves in society. We are not a transitional housing program that provides temporary housing or shelter, but an integrated veterans’ housing community.
Although our primary purpose is to provide stable and affordable housing for Veterans, our focus isn’t only on housing – we are building a community that also takes the physical health, behavioral health, spiritual health and care, fitness, wellness, and employment of Veterans into consideration.
We hope to use the permanent supportive housing model of Spero Veterans Housing as an example for similar communities in several other states.
Features of Spero Veterans Housing
Our units are all one bed/one bath and alternate between one-bedroom units, single-room occupancy (SRO) units, and studio units. There are also two and three-bedroom units available. Many of the studio and SRO units are adaptive re-use projects, but most of our newer projects are one-bedroom units.
Each unit is between 550 and 600 square feet, and 20% of them include handicap-accessible features. Units without handicap-accessible features can be easily adapted to fit someone’s personal needs.
Most units feature:
- Laminate countertops
- Black or white appliances (range, refrigerator with freezer, and a microwave)
- Wood cabinetry
- Fiberglass tub/shower
- Cultured marble or laminate vanity tops
- Plumbing and light fixtures
- A mix of vinyl plank flooring (for a hardwood-like appearance) and carpeting
Dishwashers are optional, and surface parking is provided.
Utilities are included with the cost of rent, and a basic cable and/or internet package is also included for most units.
Most units will also include amenities, such as:
- Central air conditioning/forced-air heating
- Nine-foot ceilings
- Ceiling fans
- Private patio/balcony
Special Housing Features
We understand that many Veterans experience PTSD. To make sure all Spero Veterans Housing tenants are comfortable, we pay especially close attention to specific design details. For example, we have selected building materials that will dampen sound in each unit.
Also, we incorporate soothing color tones of blue and green into the fabrics and employ surface finishes that are linear and which contain straight lines.
The units at Spero Veterans Housing are designed to produce a feeling of calm and stability for anyone who experiences PTSD and is easily accessible for anyone with physical limitations.
Spero Veterans Housing includes many personal and group amenities throughout the property. There is a large community room for group gatherings as well as a business center with computers and internet access. The development also contains:
- A fitness center
- A game room (billiards, ping pong, puzzles, etc.)
- Extra storage space for tenants
There is also a room reserved expressly for health and virtual care purposes.
Transportation Route Access
Spero Veterans Housing is conveniently located near many major transportation routes, both local and regional. The development itself is located along South 27th Street and Oakwood Avenue. I-41/94 is accessible 1.5 miles northeast of the property. West Ryan Road/Highway 100 is located just one mile from Spero Veterans Housing.
Aside from providing easy access to downtown Milwaukee and Kenosha, nearby transportation routes also make it effortless to travel to and from Chicago and Madison.
Support Services Available
A landmark 2016 study by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found that there were 6,079 Veteran suicides nationally that year and that 132 of them were in Wisconsin. Further, it was discovered that suicide rates are 1.5 times higher for Veterans and that there was an average of 17 Veteran suicides per day in 2017.
As a permanent supportive housing community, one of our primary functions at Spero Veterans Housing is to assist with access to behavioral health and wellness services.
Spero Veterans Housing directs tenants to voluntary support services that help Veterans with specific health care and mental health treatment, along with employment services. Among these groups are:
Center for Veterans Issues, Ltd. (CVI)
The Center for Veterans Issues is a Milwaukee-based non-profit organization that addresses the many needs of Veterans transitioning into civilian life. CVI helps to improve the lives of those who have already transitioned and the lives of their families. Their advocacy is community-based, and their services range from employment and education outreach to housing and case management.
HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH)
HUD-VASH is a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing that primarily places its focus on homeless Veterans. Through this program, HUD supports eligible Veterans with vouchers that assist with the rental of private homes.
HUD-VASH also works with Veterans on other personal services, such as mental health care, substance abuse, and physical wellness.
Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF Program)
SSVF assists homeless Veterans and Veterans who are imminently at-risk for homelessness to obtain permanent, safe, and affordable housing. The SSVF program assigns case managers to eligible Veterans to assist with VA benefits, employment opportunities, legal needs, and other objectives. It also partners with Spero Veterans Housing to help provide support for very low-income Veterans and their families in times of crisis.
There are eligibility requirements for the SSVF program, which include:
- identification as a Veteran, or as a member of the family of which the Veteran is the head of the household, and
- a condition of being “very low income,” which means that participants do not meet 50% of median area income. Community median income is established by HUD using qualifications for Section 8 housing under the Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f).
Through the SSVF program, Veterans can receive temporary assistance for:
- Security deposit
- Utility deposit
- Rental/utility arrangements
- Childcare costs
- Moving costs
- Short-term storage
- Emergency supplies
In addition, Spero Veterans Housing is located specifically in Oak Creek, WI, next to St. John’s Lutheran Church (10303 S 27th St) and near Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare (10101 S 27th St.). We are also kitty-corner from Ascension SE Wisconsin Hospital – Franklin Campus.
OF VETERANS CURRENTLY LIVE IN WISCONSIN
OF WISCONSIN’S ADULT POPULATION ARE VETERANS
OF MILWAUKEE’S POPULATION ARE VETERANS
VETERANS ESTIMATED TO LIVE WITH POVERTY & DISABILITY
Future Goals of Spero Veterans Housing
According to the most recent Wisconsin Veteran Data provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), there are currently 367,227 Veterans who live in Wisconsin, and 8.3% of Wisconsin’s adult population are Veterans. The DVA further estimates that 64,864 Veterans live in homes that have a problem of some kind, such as cost, quality, or crowding.
The Veteran population of Milwaukee County is 46,833, which is 6.5% of Milwaukee’s population. Of that number, it is estimated that 45,898 Veterans live with Poverty and Disability Status and that 4,759 Veterans live below the poverty level.
However, there are over 500 Veteran-help groups in Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation states that Wisconsin leads the nation in benefits for Veterans and their families. The Wisconsin G.I. Bill makes it possible for Veterans to attend two years of college tuition-free, and U.S. News and World Report singled out three Wisconsin Veteran nursing facilities as among the best in the nation.
Spero Veterans Housing aims to reach out to Veterans that need assistance with the assurance of a comfortable, quality home, a healthy, nurturing environment, and immediate access to Veteran support services.
What Spero Veterans Housing Offers
Veterans who choose Spero Veterans Housing for permanent supportive housing can count on us for:
- A concierge model – there is always staff available to assist with case management and support services
- Stability – long-term tenants from a population of multi-generational Veterans make up our community
- Wellness – we recognize and combine the needs of physical health and mental health and aim to create a holistic, healthy community
- Support – we help you connect with the most relevant governmental and non-profit Veteran resources available
The Spero Veterans Housing community in Milwaukee is a multi-purpose housing community for Veterans in transition whether the Veterans served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq, or Afghanistan. As a permanent supportive housing community, we hope to encourage a sense of independence in Veterans by providing a place to establish long-term tenancy.
Working for the Success of Veterans Throughout America
The success of the Spero Veterans Housing development in Milwaukee is a model for expanding our services to different states where other Veterans need attention also. Our integrated approach to Veteran needs and our awareness of the complications of getting those needs met influence us to work that much harder to see that no Veteran goes homeless or lacks affordable support.
If you would like to learn more about Spero Veterans Housing, please contact us today.