The old Hotel Jonas is getting a new life, and volunteers are needed.
It will become the Major Paul Syverson Veteran's Sanctuary VALOR Clinic, a place to help homeless veterans get back on their feet to lead productive lives, thanks to Mark Baylis, a 26-year Army veteran.
VALOR stands for Veterans Assisted Living Out Reach, a nonprofit charity focused on helping veterans with limited or no access to care get assistance with benefits, and shelter to veterans who, because of health or lack of means, are unable to find or keep shelter of their own.
The mission is to improve the lives of veterans by providing free access to coaching and care that will address service-connected conditions and improve skills for work and life outside of service.
But before it can open its doors to these veterans, the site, unoccupied since last year, needs to be cleaned and have minor repairs made, yard work done and furniture moved.
VALOR is reaching out to the community, asking for volunteers to help with these jobs, beginning 10 a.m. Sunday through July 19. It is at the intersection of Route 534 and Jonas Road and Dotters Corner Road.
Bayliss, a retired United States Army sergeant major, was injured in Iraq in 2003. He knows all about the horrors of war and has a special affinity with veterans.
He was running a local food pantry and occasionally helping veterans fill out VA paperwork. He realized there was a definite need for veterans. He called and asked a buddy of his to help come up with a premise for an organization to help veterans, and VALOR was born.
"We'll help any veteran and their family members to fill out paperwork. We offer readjustment training with professional help," Bayliss said.
It provides post-traumatic stress resources through Veterans Unstoppable to improve the lives of our nation's veterans.
The program is a confidential guided discussion and personal discovery experience moderated by trained facilitators from the cutting edge. They deal with anger management, stress triggers and personal life skills.
In addition to the immediate call for helping to clean the new VALOR Clinic, it also needs the support of community partners who can donate money, skills and materials to make its services accessible to veterans at no charge.
Every month they hold a "Stand Down" at different locations. People are asked to bring food, clothing and supplies for homeless veterans which are distributed to them along with free health checkups. The next scheduled Stand Down will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Dansbury Park on Day Street in East Stroudsburg.
For more information, contact Glen Lippincott (a combat wounded Vietnam vet) at 570-242-0810 or 570-992-6038, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The VALOR Clinic Foundation's address is P.O. Box 315, Brodheadsville, PA 18322; the phone number is 570-369-3797.
The VALOR's Support Group invites any veteran to a free group therapy program at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at the Gilbert American Legion Post 927, Route 209 and Fairgrounds Road, Gilbert.
For more information, visit the Facebook page at valorclinic or www.valorclinic.org.