Landmark Jonas Hotel being considered for use as shelter for homeless veterans
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Hotel Jonas may find new purpose and be a transitional home for homeless veterans through the VALOR Clinic Foundation.
New life may be in store for the landmark Jonas Hotel on Scenic Drive, Kunkletown.
It could become the temporary site of transitional housing for homeless veterans.
It would be the first official site for the VALOR Clinic Foundation. The foundation is in the stages of trying to purchase the landmark property with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court's approval. The sale would include furniture, fixtures and equipment still inside the building.
The original Snyders House, built in the mid-1800s by the Snyder family, underwent several stages of building. It later became known as the Jonas Hotel (now known as the Hotel Jonas). The existing three-story structure was built sometime in 1905 and housed the post office until 1952. It was last owned by Michael Pandolfo until he filed for bankruptcy last year. Since then, it has been unoccupied.
Gerald Zurat, Polk Township's zoning officer, says that VALOR applied for funding through a Local Share Account grant. Polk Township supervisors have written a letter of support for their application. VALOR is waiting for the bank to accept their offer. If it does, VALOR will need a change of use permit from the township.
"I understand it is not a done deal yet. Personally, I think it's a great idea," says Polk Township supervisor/secretary Nancy May.
VALOR stands for Veterans Assisted Living Out Reach. It is a non-profit charity focused on providing assistance accessing benefits to veterans with limited or no access to care, and shelter to veterans who, due to health or lack of means, are unable to find or keep shelter of their own.
VALOR's mission is to improve the lives of veterans by providing free access to coaching and care that will address service-connected conditions and improve life skill for work and life outside of service.
It also provides Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) resources to veterans through its Veterans Unstoppable program to improve the lives of our nations veterans.
The program is a confidential guided discussion and personal discovery experience moderated by trained facilitators from the cutting edge, Veterans Unstoppable Program.
They will deal with anger management, stress triggers and personal life skills.
Mark Bayliss, a 26-year veteran, 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 to veterans.
He moved to Pa. in 2007 to be closer to family. 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 a buddy of his and asked him 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," says Bayliss.
VALOR needs the support of community partners who can donate money, skills and materials to make these 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 will be distributed to them along with free health checkups. The next scheduled Stand Down will be at Dansbury Park, East Stroudsburg.
For more information, contact Glen Lippincott (a combat wounded Vietnam vet) at 570-242-0810 or 570-992-6038, 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, on Route 209/Fairgrounds Road, Gilbert.