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Funding issue could close Springfield veterans home

Updated: Tuesday, March 5 2013, 11:26 PM EST
Funding issue could close Springfield veterans home story image
SPRINGFIELD, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - At least 20 veterans of war could soon be without a home.
 
That's if leaders with the Legion Villa in Springfield don't raise $100,000 by April 13.
 
They need that money to demolish a building that touches their non-profit center.
 
If they don't their building will be condemned.
 
City leaders say the eyesore which was once a military hospital, is no longer structurally sound.
 
Putting veterans who live here at risk.
 
Newschannel 3 spoke to John Kish, a Vietnam and Korean War Veteran. He shared how the villa helped turn his life around.
 
"I get up everyday and try to get through the day. Place to stay, place to eat," said Kish.
 
He says he enjoys the company of other veterans of war who are suffering from mental or physicall illnesses.
 
"That's why I havent told them because theyre not gunna understand why its happening to them," said Michael Campbell, Legion Villa Administrator.
 
For years the city and leaders with the Legion Villa have worked to figure out what to do with the big metal building.
 
"Over the last 5 years they havent been able to change so unless something happens then there's really no point kicking it down the road," said Franklin Peterson, Springfield City Manager.
 
The city manager says he worries it is not structurally sound. He says even a big snowfall could cause the building to collapse.
 
"The reality is if it isnt safe we need to find some place else to go," said Peterson.
 
"There's gunna be a few homeless that have no place to go theres a couple from the jail and will be back there," said Campbell.
 
"Some have been here 30 years where are you gunna put them? It's our home," said Kish.
 
The city manager says if leaders at the villa come back with a hard plan to raise the money to demolish the building they can stay.
 
The administrator says he's thrown out a number of ideas that have been denied.

To donate to the non-profit Legion Villa:

Legion Vila
107 Evergreen Rd.
Springfield, MI 49015

When we contacted her office, State Rep. Kate Segal offered the following statement on the facility's troubles:

"I have fought tirelessly on behalf of Legion Villa to help it find a solution to its ongoing financial and structural obstacles. I worked to help find potential grant dollars, reached out to federal partners and even introduced legislation – which was unanimously passed by the Michigan House but eventually stonewalled by the Republican-controlled Senate. In the days and weeks ahead, I will continue to explore every possible solution to this problem. As always, my primary concern will continue to be the well-being of our distinguished military veterans."Funding issue could close Springfield veterans home
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