Tuesday November 12, 2019 was a special day for one deserving veteran and his family. US Marine Combat Veteran Sean, and his wife Nicole, were beaming with excitement on Tuesday as they walked through the brand new, ranch style home in Medford. Finally, each of their three children will have a room to call their own, while the energy efficient home will keep everyone warm through winter.
Beacon House CEO Frank Amalfitano and board member John Yancigay were joined by NYS Assemblyman Steve Stern, State Senator Phil Boyle, County Legislator Susan Berland and community partner United Way of Long Island’s President & CEO Theresa A. Regnante. Also in attendance were Tom Ronayne, director of Suffolk County Veterans Services and [find out the name of the guy who drove all the way from Albany just to attend the event], and other representatives of Suffolk County and NYS whose agencies provided funding and assistance.
“It’s been a bumpy road for me and my family – but we never gave up,” said Sean, the US Marine Combat Veteran. “We cannot wait to move in. The kids are going to get their own rooms. My wife and I are going to have a place to call home. It’s been a long time coming.”
The four-bedroom, handicap-accessible single-family home was built on a plot of land donated by Suffolk County to United Veterans Beacon House. United Way of Long Island – including veteran students from the organization’s VetsBuild program – was chosen to construct the home.
“For Sean and his family this means having low monthly home maintenance costs, allowing them to pay for life’s necessities, like food and medicine, as well as further provide for their children,” stated Theresa A. Regnante, President & CEO of United Way of Long Island.
The home is located in a residential area, close to shopping and public transportation. Featuring a living room, eat-in-kitchen, and laundry, all plumbing, electric and HVAC is high quality, with efficient systems. The home conforms to the standards of EPA ENERGY STAR New Homes version 3.0.
“This house represents the future for Beacon House – permanent housing for once-homeless veterans and veteran families,” said Frank Amalfitano. “As an agency, we recognize the beneficial impacts permanent housing has on those who’ve endured chaotic life situations, particularly for families.”
Beacon House was chosen as one of three local recipient organizations related to the Housing our Homeless Heroes Act, sponsored by Assemblyman Steve Stern and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo – along with subsequent legislative initiatives passed by the Suffolk County Legislature, and supported by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. Called “Maximizing Access to Available Housing,” these initiatives include the transference of county assets – in this case, real property – to non-profit organizations for redevelopment as veterans housing. Under program guidelines, no more than 30 percent of the occupant’s gross income can be paid toward rent.
New York State’s Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, administered through the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, provided funding for the demolition and construction of the new home.