Saturday, August 30, 2008

Georgia War Veterans Home is closing shutting out 82 veterans

Maybe since they say "support the troops" often enough they can forget about the veterans. After all, the budget demands cuts and they can't expect the federal government to do their job and take care of the veterans who served the entire nation. Well, you really can't considering who is running the federal government right now.

State budget cuts force veterans from home
By Travis Fain -

Eighty-two veterans will need a new place to live soon because a Georgia War Veterans Home facility in Milledgeville is scheduled to close because of state budget cuts.

Other portions of the Wheeler Building will remain open, but veterans in the assisted living unit got letters Friday saying they'll need to move within 90 days. The quarters will close Nov. 30, according to a news release from the Georgia Department of Veterans Service, and staff members are trying to help veterans find new places to live and to make sure they get all the federal benefits they're entitled to.

Some may qualify for other government housing programs, or for a higher level of care at the facility's nursing home, said Dan Holtz, director of health contracting and facilities for the Georgia Department of Veterans Service. But many of the affected veterans will probably have to find their own place or move in with family, Holtz said.

The domiciliary care area slated to close in the Wheeler Building was the only state-run facility of its kind, Holtz said. Veterans live there for free in a retirement-home-type facility, which offers less care and supervision than the full-blown nursing home services the Milledgeville home also offers. It costs the state about $2.7 million a year to operate, though federal funds pushed the total budget to about $4 million a year, Holtz said.

The cuts are part of nearly across-the-board cuts to the state budget, in response to a predicted $1.6 billion difference this year between expected revenues and budgeted spending approved by the General Assembly and Gov. Sonny Perdue this year. Perdue has asked agencies to prepare plans for potential 6 percent, 8 percent and 10 percent cuts in the wake of lower-than-hoped for revenue collections.
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