The board of directors and staff of Operation Stand Down Tennessee announced the group has purchased its long-rented campus at 1125 12th Ave. S. and launched a $3 million capital campaign.
Lead gifts totaling $450,000 were provided by the Frist Foundation and the Memorial Foundation.
“The decision to buy the property was a wise investment,” said Bob Tuke, board president. “The Service Center is a vital life line for area veterans and their families. We felt strongly that by purchasing and renovating the building we could expand programs and services while also providing a more welcoming environment for women and children.”
The center, a former grocery store, sits on 2.1 acres strategically located one mile north of the Veterans Affairs Regional Office and one mile west of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The project includes the $2.5 million necessary to purchase the property and an additional $500,000 for renovations.
Bill Burleigh, executive director of OSDTN, showcased the architectural renderings for the remodeled building. The modernized Center will feature an updated and uniform exterior façade complete with landscaping and adequate night lighting. The interior will be reconfigured to add additional classrooms and group counseling session space. Staff offices will also be redesigned to increase client and administration confidentiality.
“We are truly grateful to our friends at the Frist Foundation and the Memorial Foundation for generously kick starting our campaign,” said Lori Ogden, OSDTN director of development. “The appearance of our current facilities simply did not allow us to advance our mission. We are deeply committed to providing programs and services that allow Veterans and their families to become self-sustaining and better connected to the community.”
Pete Bird, president and CEO of the Frist Foundation, said, “Our decision to underwrite the OSDTN capital campaign was an easy one. This organization has worked diligently for over twenty years to better the lives of the brave men and women of Tennessee who have so selflessly served our country.”
J.D. Elliott, president of the Memorial Foundation, said, “Our decision to fund the Veteran Service Center was predicated upon the fact that Operation Stand Down Tennessee helps nearly two thousand local veterans and their families annually. We believe that our veterans have earned the right to access quality services and programs in a safe and inviting setting.”
For more than 20 years, OSDTN has assisted veterans and their families so they can be self-sustaining and better connected to the community. OSDTN programming includes housing assistance, document preparation, mental health counseling, employment services and access to medical care. On average, 90 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to programs and services for Tennessee veterans.