Florida Times Union Jacksonville.com
By Saphara Harrell
Mar 24, 2016
Volunteers and veterans were hard at work Thursday painting, digging and mulching at the Five Star Veterans Center.
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.
Photos by Will.DickeyWesley Johnson, an employee with Home Depot, paints a room Thursday at the Five Star Veterans Center in Jacksonville.
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, Col. Len Loving, echoed that statement, saying the facility wouldn’t be able to operate without the help of the veterans who clean, landscape, wash dishes, and do 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.”