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KINGMAN – A quick tour of the long-shuttered Arnold Plaza building downtown revealed what everybody knew all along: It is going to take a lot of work to get the building up to code and ready to help homeless and struggling veterans.

Pat Farrell, president of the Jerry Ambrose Veterans Council, which took possession of the former Mohave County government building today, March 16, said roof repair is the first order of business.

 

Farrell said it will take about $95,000 to do the roof repair and it will take another $700,000 to get the interior of the building ready.

Already, nearly $260,000 in grant money has been spent on asbestos remediation.

When it’s ready, Arnold Plaza will be home to 25 small apartments homeless veterans will use as transitional housing.

Farrell said the VA allows veterans 90 days in such housing before they are made to leave. He said the JAVC rejects the one-size-fits-all philosophy and will give veterans the opportunity to truly be prepared. “We want to let them build up a bank account,” he said. “They’re homeless and when you’re homeless you don’t have anything. We want to make sure they have enough (money) to succeed when they leave.

In the meantime, they will remain onsite where their job skills will be assessed if they are able to work. If they are unable to work, Farrell said permanent housing will be found and they will be assisted with filing paperwork to obtain Social Security.

Farrell hopes to get enough work done to roll out a very soft opening on this Fourth of July, a less soft opening on Veterans Day in November, and a grand opening for July 4, 2019.

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Pat Farrell, president of the Jerry Ambrose Veterans Council, inside the long-shuttered Arnold Plaza building. Doug McMurdo/The Standard

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