Founder Hopes All Muskogee County Veterans Will Benefit From 'The Barracks'
MUSKOGEE COUNTY, Oklahoma - A place to help Muskogee County Veterans is in the works. It's called The Barracks and it's founded by a 20-year veteran.
Once the roughly 30,000 square foot facility is open, it will be free of charge for Muskogee County veterans, placing several resources under one roof.
Located in an old nursing home, The Barracks will be divided into two areas – a recreational side will have a library, TVs and video games, and an educational side with a computer lab and a training area for basic office skills.
The facility itself will also feature housing and kitchen facilities.
The founder, Veteran Victor Lezama, said he’s on a mission to help all Muskogee County veterans.
“The end goal is we want to consolidate all the resources that we have available in our city into one area so our veterans don't have to run back and forth to find what's available to them," he said.
Lezama also invented an app that is already operational that has links to resources as well.
"Any area - whether you're looking for a home a homeless shelter somewhere to get some food - all those places have a direct contact in your local area. You're not calling an 800 number you're not going to a web page, you're gonna call a local number and get a local person to help you out immediately,” he said.
For the now everything is privately funded; so far about $6,000 has been raised. Lezama hopes to take advantage of VA grants in the future.
"To me it means everything. I’ve lost a lot of friends to PTSD, they've given in to their demons and they never had a place like this to go to. I’d like to think that if any of my friends who took their own lives had a place like this, where they can go and get that commodity, to get that basic help, even just to hang out with fellow veterans, I would like to think that that would've stopped them from giving into their demons," he said.
The facility is scheduled to open by the end of this year.
If you'd like to get involved and volunteer, you can find more information here.