It's just another red brick house on the corner of Main Street and Taggart Avenue crafted in the all too familiar style of the many mill villages scattered across Greenwood County. But for homeless veterans, it is more than just an old mill house. It is a beacon of hope.
Third District U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan visited the facility Monday afternoon to get a tour and see how his office could assist the facility in accomplishing its mission.
Kinard Manor is a transitional housing facility for homeless veterans, many of whom have struggled with alcohol and drug addictions and mental health issues, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
"We provide a stable living environment for veterans who have fallen on hard times," said Terry Weeks, interim program director for the facility. "We provide them food, clothing and shelter while they get their lives back together."
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs partially funds the facility with $43.32 per veteran per day, which is less than half of what it costs to run the 10-bed facility. The rest of the funding comes from Lutheran Services of the Carolinas, an organization dedicated to helping veterans put their lives back together, among other endeavors.
All residents to Kinard Manor are referred by the William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Hospital in Columbia. The facility also handles all of the case management for the residents.
Since Kinard Manor first opened its doors in November 2007, nearly 200 veterans have found refuge at the facility. More than half of those have used their time at the transitional home as a springboard to once again becoming productive members of society. Only about 10 percent of residents leave because they are unsatisfied with the facility. Most of those who leave return to the hospital for various reasons.
While at Kinard Manor, veterans receive assistance finding work in addition to transportation to and from their jobs once they become employed. The staff at the facility tries to utilize every avenue possible to assist the residents.
"We try to tap into all the resources available, such as vocational rehabilitation and Goodwill's Job Connection," Weeks said. "They're experts in their areas and we are experts at what we do."
Duncan got a full tour of the facility and said he was glad to see a place like Kinard Manor in Greenwood.
"it's eye opening understanding that homeless veterans are not just the guys living on the street corners in Washington or New York," Duncan said. "Some of these folks who are transitioning are coming out of the woods and out from under bridges. I'm glad to see a place like this in Greenwood that provides three square meals a day, a warm, clean roof over their heads and a clean indoor toilet and other necessities. I'm glad somebody has stepped up to the plate to take care of these homeless veterans."