The $3.79 billion Economic Development package recently passed by the state included $250,000 for the 21-unit Soldier On veteran’s housing project planned for 1660 Main St., adjacent to Heatherwood. The Select Board in August committed $500,000 from the town. And now, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation and New England Patriots Foundation have announced a matching grant; the release is below.
While an exact dollar amount has not been announced for the grant, at last night’s Planning Board meeting, member Vinny Fratalia — who is also on the board of the Tewksbury Home Build — expressed optimism that the project can break ground in the spring.
November 11, 2022 – This Veterans Day, it was announced that the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation has partnered with the New England Patriots Foundation, in a joint match grant in support of the build for Soldier On’s Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Community, located in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.
Soldier On is dedicated to providing and coordinating an extensive continuum of housing and support services for veterans who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. Construction will begin in Spring 2023, with a planned opening in Spring 2024.
Soldier On, Inc. was named the development lead of the project at the invitation of Tewksbury Home Build. The 18,656 sq. ft building will provide 21 units of affordable permanent supportive housing for veterans. The property features 18 one-bedroom apartments and 3 studio apartments, which are included in the state affordable housing inventory. The site will serve both men and women and has wraparound services, including wellness programs, care coordination, case management, substance use treatment, transportation, a community room, fully furnished apartments, internet, cable, utilities. A “Let’s Talk Interactive” (LTI) telehealth kiosk, and meals will provide veterans with stability and support.
Bruce Buckley, CEO and President of Soldier On, stated, “Soldier On is thrilled and honored to receive the support of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, the Kraft family, and Patriots Foundation for our next Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Community in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.” Bruce continued, “This development will provide a permanent home to 21 U.S. military veterans who have struggled with sustaining safe, stable housing. These brave men and women served our country when we needed them, now they need our support.”
The relationship between JBJ Soul Foundation and Soldier On began with a partnership at JBJ Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, NJ with the Gordon H. Mansfield Veteran’s Community, a brand-new apartment facility in nearby Tinton Falls. Veterans volunteer at JBJ Soul Kitchen and enjoy a meal while the chefs visit the building to host cooking demos to teach about healthy ways to prepare meals in their new homes. When the opportunity arose to partner on a new supportive housing facility, JBJ Soul Foundation was excited to team up with Soldier On once again.
“No one who serves our country should have to find themselves sleeping on the streets”, said Jon Bon Jovi, Chairman of JBJ Soul Foundation. “The Foundation has been a long-time advocate for veterans so when the opportunity came to expand our partnership with Soldier On beyond our JBJ Soul Kitchens, we knew we had to jump on it. Being able to partner with my friend Robert Kraft to support housing for veterans makes this project even more meaningful.”
Jon Bon Jovi has been longtime friends with Robert Kraft, chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group and the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). The Kraft family has given back through theKraft Family Foundation and New England Patriots Foundation. Being that the project is set in New England, and a pillar of the New England Patriots Foundation is built on the support of veteran initiatives, the connection seemed kindred. Jon Bon Jovi reached out to Kraft to see if he would join the JBJ Soul Foundation in supporting this building in Massachusetts, and without hesitation they were able to come together on a matching grant.
“When it comes to supporting patriots, Jon Bon Jovi rocks,” said Kraft, Patriots chairman and CEO. “This Veterans Day, the Patriots Foundation is teaming up with the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation to provide permanent housing for some patriots who are in need. The donations will benefit Soldier On, a local organization committed to ending veteran homelessness. Jon has always been very supportive of the military. He has a huge heart and a good soul, and I couldn’t be happier to partner with him to support patriots on Veterans Day.”
The JBJ Soul Foundation and New England Patriots Foundation will be matching funds donated to Soldier On to help fill the gap in funding on the project caused by increased building supply costs.
Join the cause and help veterans find a safe place to call home by donating here.
About Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation
Since 2006, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation has worked to break the cycle of poverty, homelessness, and hunger in communities across America. Through grant funding of local and national partner projects and creating sustainable programs, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation has helped provide funding for almost 1,000 units of affordable housing and shelter in 11 states and Washington DC for thousands of individuals and families experiencing homelessness and financial instability including youth and veterans. For more information, please visit http://www.jbjsf.org.
About Soldier On
Soldier On is a private, nonprofit organization committed to ending veteran homelessness. Soldier On was organized in 1994 to provide a continuum of programs to ensure that homeless veterans and their families have access to immediate and long-term housing with an array of support services delivered directly to them where they live. The ultimate goal is to provide formerly homeless and at-risk veterans with permanent, supportive, sustainable housing. For more information, visit http://www.wesoldieron.org.
About The New England Patriots Foundation
Robert Kraft established the New England Patriots Foundation in 1994 as a way to give back to the communities the Patriots call home. The mission of the foundation is to aid individuals and families that are often marginalized in today’s society. Through the implementation of year-round programming and support of philanthropic agencies, the foundation is building stronger communities throughout New England. For more information about the New England Patriots Foundation, visit www.patriots.com/community.