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Wounded Warriors opens third home to provide housing for homeless veterans in Collier County

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Posted at 10:36 PM, Apr 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-18 05:54:58-04

NAPLES, Fla. — 71-year old Bob Mabry spent years defending his country in the air force. Until a few weeks ago, he was at risk of being on the streets - and it wouldn't be the first time.

“I was homeless, and the VA put me in a homeless shelter. But it got to the point where I was going to time out of the shelter," says Mabry.

Luckily, he found a new home at 1200 Granada Boulevard in Naples with the help of the Wounded Warriors of Collier County.

Called "The Charlie House", it's the third home opened by the organization that's meant to provide housing to local veterans like Mabry - who moved in April 1.

“I think it’s wonderful. It’s more than I expected, to tell you the truth," he says.

Affordable housing is a problem already felt by many in Southwest Florida, but Mabry says it leaves our veterans particularly vulnerable, no matter their age.

“You’ve got more vets coming into the VA every day. I’m 71 years old, and I’m talking about guys in their twenties coming in who are coming in who don’t have a place to live," says Mabry.

It's become a mission for Dale Mullin, president of the Wounded Warriors of Collier County.

As a veteran himself, he says it's difficult seeing those who served our country on the streets.

“It touches your heart, it breaks your heart," says Mullin.

"And that’s what motivated me to try to come up with a solution to get these veterans off the street, out of the woods, out of the shadows of our community and get them into suitable housing which you’ll see here at the Charlie House.”

He explains that the money for the home came from the private sector, with a Collier County couple buying the home and renting it back to the organization at an affordable rate.

“They bought this house for about four hundred thousand dollars, they spent a hundred thousand dollars fixing it up, and they provided us a rate for leasing it back at just an unbelievable price,” explains Mullin.