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New VA Residence In Salisbury Helps Veterans Transition

Department of Veterans Affairs

Veterans who are struggling to reintegrate into their community have a new resource in Salisbury. The Department of Veterans Affairs is opening a transitional home there Thursday.

Knowing how to cook, set a budget, find a place to live and land a job are skills that a lot of us take for granted. But for a veteran who's barely 20 years old and struggling with mental illness, those tasks can be daunting.

"They haven't experienced moving out and transitioning into their own lives - they went right into military and now they're coming home, and they're trying to kind of figure that piece out," said Tara Manis-Healey with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

She said the new transitional residence in Salisbury is designed to help. It's on the VA campus, and it'll house eight veterans who are recovering from a mental health condition, which could include addiction, and who are going through a VA job training program. A VA staff member will be there 24-7 for support.    

Some of the veterans will be young, and some may be in their 50s. Manis-Healey said to get them used to budgeting, they'll have to pay about $60 a week in rent.

"Everything in the house is all-inclusive," she said. "The only thing that they're also required to do is purchase their own food, which is another piece of that independent-living skill development."

The transitional residence could eventually house 10 veterans.