The future of the former Knoxville veterans hospital should be decided sometime in the next couple of months after three groups recently made presentations to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Bob Krause leads the group that wants to take the 39 buildings and create the Veterans National Recovery Center — an organization that would help homeless veterans get training and jobs.
Krause says it’s not known when the federal officials will select one of three proposals for the facility. He says the V-A internally goes over the three proposals, and the final recommendation has to be approved by congress. Krause says he thought he might hear this week, but also says the decision could come as late as July. Krause says he was pleased with the proposal the V.N.R.C made.
That proposal included support from Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). Krause says they would have 1,200 veterans at the facility, and part of their effort to transition them from homeless to a sustainable life requires training. DMACC would create a satellite office at the facility to train the veterans.
Krause says they would also allow non-veterans in the area to also take courses from DMACC. Krause says they will have a mix of business and marketing classes, and would also have some vocational and technical training where they would shuttle the veterans to the DMACC Newton campus for those classes.
Krause says they are in competition with a proposal from a Chicago-based group, and there’s also a local proposal for the campus.