Anoka Wants to Turn Former Asylum Buildings into Housing for Homeless Vets

July 03, 2017 06:53 PM

Anoka wants to give three historic buildings a new lease on life.

The city plans to team up with a nonprofit to turn the vacant cottages at the former Anoka Asylum into housing for homeless veterans. The cottages were built in the early 1900s.

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The city hopes to approve the $1.5 million project in the next few months.

"We think we can save lives and save lives fast," said Bart Ward with the Anoka Heritage Preservation Commission. "They're not 60-, 70-year-old guys with beards down to the ground. These people are 20, 30, 40 years old. They've had problems with alcohol, maybe drugs."

Veterans like the plan to give the buildings a new lease on life. 

"I think that's a great idea," veteran Joe Modesette said. "Let's make them useful and do some good."

If all goes according to plan, the city hopes veterans will be able to move in sometime next spring. 

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Joe Mazan

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