The Matheson Veterans Home comes to James Island

Veterans Voices

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Just in time for Veteran’s Day, the Matheson Veterans Home is readying for their ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday. The Lowcountry Veteran’s Associated home will ultimately be more than just a place for honorably discharged veterans. It will be their new home for a full 90 days. 

For Will Matheson, the Vice Chairman of Lowcountry Veterans, the last 3 months have been spent working at 1707 McLeod Ave on what was once bright yellow home. Now, the home is a subtle beige with navy blue and white accents: the ‘brain child’ of Leslie Jackson.

Matheson, among others, worked to quite literally build a better future for those who fought for his. 

We pulled up the floors of 3 different rooms, that was our Labor Day weekend, pulling up floors, installing new floors, everything has been repainted. We’ve put in addition to the new subfloor, we put in new floors in a bunch of the other rooms. We’ve…massively improved the kitchen, fridge, freezer, countertops, the ADA bathroom. We have spent a lot of time working till we wanna make sure we can help everybody possible. 

Will Matheson, Vice Chairman of Lowcountry Veterans 

But the 15 bed home is not just an extended hand out—it’s a hand up. Lasherrald Jamison, the House Manager, said they plan to help the veterans get their life back on track and squash any former stigmas for them.

The home will have a live-in person, whom is also a veteran, who will be providing them mentorship. With a card table, a basketball area, and a grill, the opportunities for camaraderie are there: notion that is important to veterans. Jamison said, “They are united as one and we want to definitely am I want to be a part of that for them.”

With a recently donated laptop and iPad, veterans will also be able to work on their resumes ahead of applying for jobs and affordable housing for after their 90 days.

We don’t want to see their bank account, but I do want to be able, as the manager to see that okay, you’re saving money for the 90 days that you are here. Okay, if you need help in trying to find a job, we have partnered with several companies that is willing to put our veterans to work in an apprenticeship program. 

Lasherrald Jamison, House Manager  

As for how one can stay at the home? Jamison said all must qualify for health coverage through the VA Hospital and have an honorable discharge with benefits. They then would go through their social worker who would process them into the home.

From there, they would have to fill out a packet for the home with any dietary and medical information that staff at the Matheson Veteran Home should be aware of.

In terms of a group housing situation during the pandemic, Jamison said that all will be tested at the VA before entering the facility. Once they are in the facility, masks will be provided, an abundance of hand sanitizer is available, and there is plenty of room to social distance. 

Although the ribbon cutting for this home is Wednesday, they will not be able to open it to veterans until a final safety walk through from the VA early next week.

While some funding will come from the VA, they say more will be needed. To donate to their GoFundMe, click here.

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