Public invited to hear more about plans to fix up homes for veterans

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2023

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Western Star Masonic Lodge of Albert Lea invites the public to a presentation with Kevin and Donna Chapman, who operate the Chapman House Foundation, which for over 13 years has refurbished homes for homeless veterans and those with addictions needing help to recover.

After providing assistance in areas of Chicago, Dallas, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina, Kevin Chapman is bringing his foundation’s efforts to his home state of Minnesota. The Chapmans recently purchased a house in Albert Lea and will begin refurbishing homes starting with a couple properties in the city.

The Chapman House Foundation works with many groups supporting their efforts including Home Depot, the Veterans Administration, as well as local businesses and local county jails. They identify veterans in need of help and provide homes for them to get on their feet, help find employment and get treatment for addictions, whether it be alcohol or drugs.

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The open house presentation will be at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Western Star Masonic Lodge, 147 N. Broadway, which is on the top floor of the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center.

Kevin Chapman will detail his past successes in other communities developing housing for veterans, as well as explain the tremendous support Home Depot has provided throughout the country.

Chapman House utilizes volunteers to help with their projects. They expect to do many properties in Minnesota starting with the Albert Lea projects.
The first property is at 604 Giles Place, where a home had fire damage. They will rebuild this home starting in March and hope for completion in June or early July.

They invite the community to tour the home before the Veterans Administration identifies which recipients will be the first ones to use the home.

A ceremony will be conducted to dedicate the home, and a flag poled in the front yard. The Widow’s Sons Masonic Motorycle riding members have offered to conduct a flag escort from North Broadway to the home, where the flag will be presented with honors and the dedication will be conducted. The group seeks riders to join in the presentation.

In addition to building homes, the Chapman House Foundation offer counseling services at local jails and have contacted Freeborn County to see if they may offer programs in the county.