Nursing home for veterans coming to Collier County

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

There’s a plan to get more help to wounded warriors in the Southwest Florida community.

$30,000,000 has been approved by Collier County. Under the plan, the State Department of Veteran Affairs will put the cash into an escrow account.

The goal is to use that money to make a nursing home for veterans since Collier County doesn’t have one.

“We support it 100%. It’s long overdue,” Dale Mullin, the president of Wounded Warriors of Collier County, said.

Mullin knows there’s an incredible need for this kind of housing. Setting aside $30,000,000 to help the State Department of Veteran Affairs make the project a reality.

“We need the beds now. We have a lot of veterans here in Collier County that need nursing care, nursing home care, particularly some of the more senior veterans who suffer from early signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s,” Mullin said.

The expected site of the VA nursing home is the Collier County-owned Golden Gate golf course.

Planned location of nursing home. CREDIT: WINK News

The county is prepared to hand over the 12.5 half acres to the state once the project is ready.

Commissioner Rick Locastro served in the Air Force for 24 years and is passionate about the project.

“We’ve brought a lot of things to the table in Collier County that a lot of other counties actually weren’t able to bring to the table. Funding, land, and big-time support. And when you can show all of that on a trip to Tallahassee, that makes the senior leadership who worked for the governor, you feel a lot better about the next county that is going to get the next state-funded veterans nursing home. And that’s us,” LoCastro said.

As of March 27, there are nine VA nursing homes in Florida. But eight are not at total capacity because they don’t have enough staff.

That’s another issue the state and Collier County will need to address. But the priority is to get project approved.

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