HOUSTON - The city of Houston has purchased a 17.83-acre tract of land, which it will now donate to the Texas Veterans Land Board for the construction of a 136,000-square-foot state-of-the-art Texas State Veterans Home.
The single-story community center will be built between off of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between Beltway 8 and Schurmier Road and will provide 120 skilled nursing beds, including a 30-bed memory support unit.
The mayor's office said there are an estimated 180,000 veterans living in Harris County, approximately 67,800 over the age of 65. About 20 percent of those vets will likely require five years or more of long-term care, and there are currently not enough beds in the county to meet that demand.
“The city is proud to help facilitate this project,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “Houston and Harris County are home to the largest veteran population (in) Texas. These men and women and their families have sacrificed so much on our behalf. We owe it to them to do all that we can to make sure they have access to quality health care.”
The mayor's office said the $35 million project is funded by the State of Texas and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The design of the center is based on a "small house" concept, with three small houses combined in a larger building. Each small house will accommodate 10 residents and include a kitchen, dining room, living room, with access to an outdoor garden and patio with shaded seating.
The center will also have a multi-purpose room, bistro, library and chapel.
“One of the great privileges of serving as Texas Land Commissioner is fulfilling my Constitutional duty as the chairman of the Veterans Land Board and overseeing this area of our state’s veterans programs, including management of eight VLB Texas State Veterans Homes statewide,” Commissioner George P. Bush said. “As a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, I take this responsibility very seriously, which is why this year, we’ve taken steps at the Veterans Land Board to do more for those who have done so much for us. Honoring our veterans requires a commitment from all levels of government. I am proud of the partnership the VLB and City of Houston are forming in order to build a new Texas State Veterans Home in Harris County and demonstrate to our veterans and their families that we appreciate the sacrifices they made to protect our freedoms."
The center is expected to employ between 140 and 160 permanent full-time nurses, administrative staff, food service help and maintenance personnel.