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Patriot Villas facility for homeless veterans to open in North Charleston

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Homeless Coalition (copy)

A new facility for homeless veterans will open Friday in North Charleston. In January, Cleon Smith, with the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, interviewed a homeless veteran at the CARTA super stop on Rivers Avenue. File/Brad Nettles/Staff

Homeless veterans will have support and a place to stay at a new facility opening in North Charleston. 

Patriot Villas is set to open Friday at 5043 Rivers Ave. The campus will have 74 rooms that come with a bed, full bathroom and a kitchen. 

The public is welcome for a grand opening ceremony starting with a flag raising at 10 a.m. followed by a ribbon cutting, a tour of the campus and a reception. 

The facility's goal is to get veterans off the streets. 

“We believe what we are doing will serve and honor people,”  said John Saukas, a partner of ANKAJO Properties, the group that helped develop the facility. 

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, a partner on the project, will place veterans at the facility and have an office on the campus. Residents will have access to therapy, counseling and support groups through the VA and the Cathedral of Praise church. 

Nearly 40,000 veterans are homeless on any given night, according to an estimate by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

About 11 percent of homeless people are veterans, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. Another 1.4 million veterans are at risk of homelessness because of poverty, a lack of support and inadequate living conditions. 

Reach Mina Corpuz at 843-937-5558. Follow her on Twitter @mlcorpuz.