SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Treasure Island is expected to have 8,000 new units in the upcoming years. Among the new buildings on T.I., is one exclusively designed for veterans.
"The day I moved into my own little place, heaven," an honest statement from Mike Bartell, a Marine veteran who became homeless in 2008.
He recently moved into the newest development for veterans on Treasure Island called Maceo May Apartments.
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"I see things differently. It's amazing. What these people have done for me, to help me come out and become Michael that I didn't even know was in me," added Bartell.
This is the first housing project completed on Treasure Island - a former naval base - now home to veterans who were once unhoused.
The apartments will offer 105 new units to be rented out to veterans with supportive services. There are common spaces with views of San Francisco.
In the late 1980s, about 40% of those living in homeless shelters were veterans. Today, the percentage of unhoused vets is close to 15%.
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"Homelessness in San Francisco among veterans has been reduced dramatically," said Michael Blecker of the veterans nonprofit Swords to Plowshares.
To better understand how that they were successful, we sat down with Blecker who told us plain and simple, the federal government stepped in.
"The VA made rental certifications through HUD, available for homeless veterans and provided funding for groups like Swords to actually go out in the streets and provide the outreach and counseling and service that made that possible," he added.
In other words, providing housing was crucial. The Treasure Island units will be available in the upcoming years and out of the 8,000, 2,200 will be affordable.
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