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Arts, Sports & Culture

Volunteers Paint for Homeless Veterans

Volunteers from the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades gave the Veterans Place on Washington Boulevard a fresh coat of paint Friday.

As part of the United Way Days of Caring and Project S.E.R.V.E., nine painters from IUPAT (District Council 57) painted the recreation room and common areas in the facility, which houses supportive services for homeless veterans in Pittsburgh.  

The volunteers are also doing maintenance work including patching plaster in order to “make the place presentable,” said Joe Delale, community service liaison for the Allegheny County Labor Council.

Delale, who is also on the staff of the United Way of Allegheny County, said the veterans deserve a nice facility.

“If the person is willing to serve their country, put your life on the line for us, we should be doing as much as we possibly can for them, and I think that’s what the unions in the area understand,” Delale said.

The painters plan to continue working tomorrow because they “really embrace the idea of helping veterans,” Delale said.

“A lot of our union members are veterans,” Delale said. “They really care about making sure that our veterans have a nice place while they’re transitioning back into the communities.”

In 2013, there were more than 57,000 homeless veterans in the United States, equivalent to approximately 12.3 percent of all homeless adults, according to the latest homeless assessment report to Congress.

Veterans Place is made up of 13 townhouses, which provide 48 veterans with up to a two-year stay. The center also offers case management, recovery support, an on-site food pantry, employment support and clothing.