CLAYTON, NJ—Last weekend, several veterans moved in to the newly built Camp Salute Community, a 76-unit apartment complex located in Clayton, NJ. Buildings 7 and 8 will be the first buildings opened to residents, along with the Camp Salute Community Service Center, where People for People will be headquartered.
The Camp Salute Affordable Housing Project is a joint venture between The People for People Foundation of Gloucester County and Conifer Realty, LLC to provide permanent housing for low to moderate income families with a Veteran Preference. It is the first and only community in the United States built to provide permanent housing to veterans, their families and the surviving spouses of veterans.
Ralph Jones, a retired, disabled Army Vietnam veteran who served from 1972 – 1975 will be one of the new residents moving in to the Camp Salute Community. Jones states, “I am very excited to have this opportunity. Having all the services I need and my veteran family in one place will be amazing.”
The Camp Salute apartment complex includes: five (5) apartments dedicated to homeless Veterans, 19 apartments dedicated to disabled veterans and 51 apartments, designated veteran preference.
Camp Salute apartments have fully equipped kitchens, a living room and private bathroom and patio or balcony. The eight buildings offer, one, two and three bedroom apartments with the following amenities: a community room, exercise room, a computer lab as well as a tot lot playground area. Also planned is a Veteran’s Memorial area consisting of flags and a sitting area.
On-site services will be provided by the People for People Foundation. They will assist on-site and off-site clients by providing workshops and support groups, addressing PTSD issues, abuse issues and access to other Veteran benefits. Federal government accredited claims agents will be on-site along with other additional veteran service organizations.
Bernadette Blackstock, the President of the People for People Foundation states, “We are also excited to move into the new facility. It will be so much easier for us to provide our services to our clients being right there in the community. We have so many things planned including building a Zen-meditation garden, starting life skills classes along with all the other services we will continue to provide.”
Another new resident to the Camp Salute neighborhood will be Wanda DeShields. She is an Air Force veteran who served between 1982 1987. She and her daughter will be moving in to one of the new two bedroom units. DeShields states, “As a single parent it has been so hard to find affordable permanent housing in a place where there is a good school district for my daughter. I feel so lucky and to make things even better, I just received my degree in Social Work from Rutgers so, after all these years, things are really starting to look up for me and my family. I am so grateful for the people who put this together.”
Blackstock states, “All of our one bedroom apartments are accounted for and several of the two bedroom units are also full but there are still five (5) two-bedroom apartment vouchers and one (1) three-bedroom voucher available for Veterans with a family. We are hoping people help to spread the word so we can fill them by the end of the year.”
The original move in date of June 12, 2018 was moved to the end of the month due to the amount of inclement weather experienced between April and May. The rest of the project is on schedule at this time.