Canandaigua VA Medical Center
Groundbreaking for VanKeuren Square
A groundbreaking ceremony for VanKeuren Square, was held on Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at 2223 East Genesee Street in Syracuse. VanKeuren Square is a 50 unit housing facility for homeless Veterans and is slated to be completed October 2013.
The three-story building will replace a vacant and deteriorated building with quality, affordable housing for Veterans. The development, which has been created to achieve LEED Platinum and NYSERDA Energy Star certifications, will contain a total of 44 one-bedroom apartments and 6 two-bedroom apartments, all of which will be furnished. Building amenities will include a community room, training and education rooms, computer lab, exercise facilities, on site laundry and a property management office. Units will be available for Veterans with physical disabilities and those with hearing or vision impairments. On site supportive services will be provided by the Syracuse VA. The building is directly on a bus line and is within walking distance of area hospitals, colleges, schools and employment opportunities as well as commercial services.
VanKeuren Square is named in honor of Robert VanKeuren, of Canandaigua, NY, for his more than thirty years of work to improve the quality of life for homeless Veterans. VanKeuren, a Navy Veteran and Purple Heart recipient who served in over 200 combat missions during the Vietnam War, retired last year from the Canandaigua VA Medical Center where he served as the Coordinator for VA Health Care Upstate New York Homeless Veterans Program. VanKeuren stated, “I am both proud and humbled to have a facility named after me that will provide housing to homeless Veterans. So many others have done so much to provide help to homeless Veterans. To be honored in this manner is recognition not only of my efforts but the efforts of those I have had the pleasure to have worked with in both the private and public sector over the past 30 years.
Housing Visions and the Syracuse VA have worked collaboratively for more than 5 years and have established an effective partnership supporting Veterans. The VanKeuren Square development will be a model for providing a total package of quality