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Veterans’ home to open in Fallsburg

| May 25, 2015

FALLSBURG – The old school house located at the intersection of routes 586 and 79 in Licking County is undergoing major renovations to house veterans returning home with post-traumatic stress disorder and those who are homeless. The facility, built in the 1930s, was donated by Vaughn and Linda Richards and needs extensive renovation in preparation for housing veterans, and the community is invited to help on site or through donations.

The new establishment, to be known as SGT Kevin Lannon Veterans Sanctuary, is now owned by the Valor Clinic Foundation, which is based out of Brodheadsville, PA and is a 501c3 public charity. The group was founded in 2008 by two veterans, Mark Baylis and Tony Cross with the belief that the emotional scars of war can be just if not more damaging than the physical scars. Their program helps veterans to readjust their lives through structured routines, guidelines, and involvement in their community through Veteran Outreach and Recovery, and mandatory participation in their Stand Down Program.

The Stand Down Program is a monthly event that provides clothing, food, health checks, and other services to homeless veterans. The community can donate to this program through monetary donations, volunteering, or donations of food or clothing. Cardboard boxes are also welcome as they can help veterans with move-in assistance.

Baylis is hoping to have the new facility open to veterans before next winter, but an abundance of local volunteers will be needed for Baylis to meet his goal. Six veterans will be housed at the facility for a start, and volunteers will also be needed once the facility opens.

One project that is in desperate need of volunteers is the extensive roofing maintenance and repair, which will be June 12 – 19. Those who wish to donate building materials can inquire at Home Depot in Zanesville, which has a supply list of everything needed. They will also be having a 5K run at Lake Park as a fundraising event on Sept. 12.

“We cannot survive without community support,” said Baylis. “These veterans, you should see them when they come back. They come back to help us and they feel like they’re part of a family.”

Baylis said they see a variety of ages of service men and women who are homeless and are in need of counseling. While some are trying to get back on their feet and find a home and a job, others are looking into retirement homes. He said they still work with and house a lot of Vietnam Veterans who still suffer from PTSD.

For those veterans who still suffer from PTSD, Valor has created Veterans UnStoppable, a counseling and life skills development program to help veterans readjust to life after the service. The three phases of this program include a support group, a series of six retreats, and then immersing veterans back into life situations in a controlled and safe environment.

“We see a strong connection between the emotional scars they experienced in the service and the problems they deal with when they come home,” said Baylis.

For more information on Valor, visit their website at valorclinic.org. To make a monetary donation, make checks to Valor Clinic Foundation and send to Box 315, Brodheadville, PA 18322. The new facility in Licking County will serve Coshocton, Newark, and Zanesville.

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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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