Eric Lamore (EBI), Ron Welch (Easterseals), Colonel Vin O’Neil (Easterseals),
Josh Salazar (Easterseals), Lori Marriott (Easterseals), Scott Dubois (EBI)
This is certainly not Enterprise Builders, Inc.’s first groundbreaking, but it could be one of our most special. The March 5th groundbreaking was not just physically groundbreaking; it was historically groundbreaking for Veterans all across Connecticut as the Easterseals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut celebrated the start of their $2.5 million Veterans Rally Point buildout in Norwich. With a few words from Congressman Joe Courtney, Senator Paul Formica, and several Easterseals representatives in attendance from across the nation, the groundbreaking was a huge success.
Easterseals is America’s largest nonprofit health care organization with over 550 locations, each dedicated to responding to the needs of Americans living with disabilities. Local branch and leader of this project, Easterseals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut, ensures people with disabilities and their families have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities. Since World War II, one of their main focuses has been helping Veterans reintegrate from military life back into civilian life.
The construction of Veterans Rally Point will provide Easterseals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut a space dedicated exclusively to the needs of Veterans. The state-of-the-art, 18,000 square foot facility will be the first of its kind in the country. Services will include legal aid, financial counseling, professional employment guidance, fitness training and so much more to Veterans, Service Members, and their families. According to their website, some of the life-changing Veteran services provided by Easterseals include: employment and financial security, case management, interpersonal communication coaching, transitional housing, education and job skill training, and peer-to-peer support groups.
To kick off the project, President and CEO of Easterseals Capital Region and Eastern Connecticut, Robin Sharp, and Enterprise Builders, Inc.’s very own Marine Corps Veteran, Eric Lamore, were invited by Radio WTIC to chat on Mornings with Ray and Brian on February 11, 2021. They spoke about the purpose of the project and why Enterprise Builders, Inc.’s involvement is so special. Sharp explained Veterans Rally Point as a “one stop shop awesome facility for our Veterans to help with reintegration.” When asked what Easterseals does, Sharp replied, “Our purpose is to change the way the world the world defines and views disability. We want to do everything we can for people with disabilities, adults, kids, veterans, to help people to accomplish everything they want to accomplish in their life.” She goes on to say, “And to not have people rule people out based on a label or based on what might be construed as a disability.” Lamore touched on why Enterprise Builders, Inc. was more than ecstatic to jump on this project: “We have done over 107 dwellings for homeless Veterans and in my opinion those two words should never go together: homeless and Veterans.” As a Veteran himself, Lamore understands the importance of assisting returning U.S. warriors with their reintegration into civilian life.
On September 11, 2021, a ribbon cutting will signify the buildout completion of Veterans Rally Point. The facility will include several features such as a commercial-grade kitchen, multi-purpose area, computer lab, relaxation and meditation room, food pantry, and medical exam room.
This unique project reflects Enterprise Builders, Inc.’s longtime commitment to supporting Veterans. Not only has Enterprise Builders, Inc. created dozens of homes for Veterans, we have also hosted an annual golf tournament for the past decade. Every year, all of the proceeds are donated to organizations that provide support to veterans stricken with various challenges such as homelessness, mental illness, and financial struggles. Since its inception, $307,204 has been raised from the golf tournament. The funds raised in last year’s tournament were donated to Work Vessels for Vets, a non-profit focused on awarding equipment to returning Veterans to help them start a business or pursue career education. Enterprise Builders, Inc. is hopeful that this year’s golf tournament, which will be held on September 27, 2021 at Lake of Isles in North Stonington, CT, will surpass last year’s success with the additional support from Easterseals Capital Region and Eastern Connecticut.
Other Enterprise Builders, Inc. projects in support of Veterans include the Shepherd Home in Middletown, Victory Gardens in Newington, and Putnam Avenue Housing in Hamden. All of these locations were created to provide affordable housing to homeless Veterans.
Enterprise Builders, Inc. is more than honored to enlist in the Easterseals mission and to create a space that will be filled with an abundance of Veterans resources for years to come.
Written by Callie Lanning of Enterprise Builders, Inc.