There are 18 million veterans in the U.S. today,1 and many have tackled the challenges of transitioning to civilian life. Air Force veteran Craig Taylor is among them. In the early ’90s, after retiring from military service, he developed housing for homeless individuals living with HIV and AIDs. During this time, Taylor saw firsthand the obstacles many veterans face, including drug addiction, mental illness and homelessness.
“I swore at that point that I would do something to make a difference for vets,” Taylor said.
In 2009, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) made a commitment to end veteran homelessness. As part of the initiative, the VA reached out to the private sector to develop affordable housing on vacant land and buildings on VA hospital campuses.
In response, Taylor made good on his promise to help veterans with the help of Don Paxton, an experienced affordable housing developer and the head of Beneficial Communities.
Taylor and Paxton founded Communities for Veterans to provide supportive affordable rental housing communities on VA campuses with priority placement for veterans and their families who are disabled, homeless or at risk of being homeless.
reside in suburban/rural areas
reside in urban areas
have serious mental illness
have substance abuse problems
Paxton had a longstanding relationship with JPMorgan Chase. He had worked with Tammy Haylock-Moore, executive director for Community Development Banking, since 1999. Haylock-Moore and the firm have provided Communities for Veterans with loans for projects, including its Freedom’s Path affordable housing communities.
These modern residences are located on VA campuses and provide a supportive environment for veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Freedom’s Path locations include:
Not only are these affordable housing units steps away from VA medical care, but they provide other critical benefits, including:
All properties feature a technology center where residents can take online courses and apply for jobs, and they offer activities like fishing trips and equine therapy. Freedom’s Path also hosts seminars and programs on financial management, healthy eating and other topics, which vary depending on resident demographics.
Plus, case managers are located onsite for the Freedom’s Path residents who use U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers. About 20 to 30 units at each Freedom’s Path site use these vouchers, Taylor said. HUD-VASH is a collaborative program that combines HUD housing vouchers with VA supportive services to help homeless veterans and their families find and sustain permanent housing.
Working with Freedom’s Path properties is just one way JPMorgan Chase supports veterans. In 2011, JPMorgan Chase established an Office of Military and Veterans Affairs to help veterans, service members and their families thrive in their post-military lives. JPMorgan Chase also works with veteran-owned businesses and helps fund New Markets Tax Credit projects that provide specialized veterans services.
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. Visit jpmorgan.com/cb-disclaimer for disclosures and disclaimers related to this content.
Vespa, J.E. 2020. “Those Who Served: America’s Veterans From World War II to the War on Terror,” ACS-43, American Community Survey Reports. U.S. Census Bureau.
National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report. 2019. Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Point-in-Time (PIT) Count. 2022. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.
Health, V. VA Programs for Homeless Veterans webpage. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
HUD No. 22-256 press release “HUD, VA award $25.4 million to provide housing assistance for veterans experiencing homelessness,” U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.