Poonam Inc. seeks rezoning to house Missouri veterans

Jun 18, 2014

Credit Fort Rucker / Flickr

Many homeless Missouri veterans could soon have a roof over their heads.

Poonam Incorporated is requesting the rezoning of about four acres of land located on the south side of Business Loop 70 East near Old Highway 63 for the creation of a "Veteran's Campus".

A public information meeting was held at City Hall on Tuesday night to give members of the community more details about the site.

Project planner Clint Smith is confident that the housing would benefit a good cause.

"Obviously veterans are a group that might have certain needs that can be accommodated hopefully in this kind of element and I think it's a project that could be beneficial overall," Smith said.

Housing the veterans in one central location is a benefit that Rick Hess, the director of asset
management at the Columbia Housing Authority, says would help eliminate some of the current problems for veterans in the city.

"They're spread out so far that it's very difficult to offer the services that are necessary, or have the facilities necessary to accommodate what the needs of the veterans are," Hess said. "This would put this all in one campus."

The services provided for the veterans would include help for any psychological, financial and health needs.

Smith also believes that the site would benefit more than just the veterans housed inside.

"It would offer something that would increase hopefully the value of the property and possibly the surrounding property as well," Smith said.

The east side of the site would be used for the temporary housing, with the goal for veterans to eventually move across the street to a set of apartment complexes on the west side.

A public hearing for the request is set for July 10th at City Hall.