Vanover Veterans Village: Making a Dream Real

Vanover Veterans Village is a non-profit organization and was created on December 6, 2011. It is named after Richard L. Vanover, the founder’s father, who was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War Veteran. He was severely wounded on Labor Day of 1950. Pfc. Richard L. Vanover received a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his actions on that day.

It is John Vanover’s desire to honor his father and other veterans by building a place where single veterans age 62 or older, who have no family, caretakers, or permanent housing can live. This is an alternative to an assisted living facility and fees will be income based, with homeless veterans having priority. The Village is committed to providing senior veterans a dignified place to call home in a family atmosphere.

Unit one - May 2012

Unit one – May 2012

Village and Unit One Dedication - May 2012

Village and Unit One Dedication – May 2012

Three meals a day will be provided, and transportation will be available for appointments and recreational activities. The organization relies heavily on private and corporate donations, fund-raisers and in-kind gifts and will not seek any government funding. The Veterans Village will strive to be self-sustaining by raising beef, poultry, eggs, meat and maintaining a community garden. The Veterans Village will initially include one duplex cabin and dining facility. Other cabins will be added as funding becomes available.

Unit One - moved in 2013 to make use of existing water, septic, and electrical connections.

Unit One – moved in 2013 to make use of existing water, septic, and electrical connections.

By May, 2012, John had located 2 bedroom living unit that he wanted to fix up to use as the first cabin unit. With the help of volunteers, a band stand was built, the first cabin was on the property, and fundraising efforts were in full swing. The warm spring weekend included a poker run, musicians, a ribbon cutting ceremony, a dunking tank, a bouncy slide for the kids, special speakers, and some hardworking volunteers.

The start of Cabin One being made liveable.

The start of Cabin One being made livable.

Cabin One is almost finished.

Cabin One is almost finished.

Fast forward to October 2014. It took longer than expected to gut the trailer and rebuild it so it would be a safe home for the inhabitants. After various trips to get supplies, consultations with professionals, waiting for funding to come in, dealing with weather, and working around normal everyday life, the first living unit is ready for finishing touches. The unit has electricity and running water. Once furniture is added as well as some personal touches to make it homey, it will be ready to live in.

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