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Alpha Project Celebrates Opening Of Apartments That House San Diego Vets

Alpha Project's Bob McElroy prepares to cut the ribbon marking the grand open...

Photo by Erik Anderson

Above: Alpha Project's Bob McElroy prepares to cut the ribbon marking the grand opening of the Alpha Lofts in Normal Heights on May 7, 2019.

The quick cut of an oversized ribbon officially opened the Alpha Lofts apartment complex.

More than 50 veterans who used to be homeless are living at the $19 million complex. The modern loft apartments — which opened two months ago — are in Normal Heights on El Cajon Boulevard. Rents are subsidized by the San Diego Housing Commission.

Alpha Project’s Bob McElroy said veterans sometimes pay a heavy price for their experiences. He said that is proven by the fact that social agencies are still dealing with Vietnam war veterans.

“That war’s been over for almost 45 years,” McElroy said. “And they did one or two tours sometimes. We’ve got kids over (seas) right now that have five, six, seven tours. We’re going to be dealing with them 50 years from now.”

San Diego has about 300 veterans living on the streets.

Alpha Project Program Manager Todd Vance said the vets who have found a home in this subsidized complex are helping more than just themselves.

“On paper, we’ve housed 52 veterans. Along with that, there’s the ripple effect,” said Vance. “Family members, friends and their circle around them have also been positively impacted because they’re not a burden, they’re not another responsibility for them to take care of.”

Project Alpha officials said the biggest hurdle to getting veterans into housing is affordable rents — not mental illness, drugs or alcohol.

Officials hope the Alpha Project can open more complexes like this because the need is there.

The San Diego-based Alpha Project celebrated the recent opening of an apartment complex aimed at getting homeless vets into housing.

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