VOC begins Richard’s House renovations

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Richard’s House, which is part of the Veteran’s Outreach Center, broke ground on renovations Friday morning.

Richard’s House is the VOC’s emergency shelter for homeless veterans. It’s located in the South Wedge neighborhood of Rochester.

The renovations are part of the VOC’s "Operation Safe Haven" campaign — with the $6.2 million project to help create 34 units of transitional and emergency housing for male veterans who are homeless, physically disabled or have mental health issues, including addiction.

Rep. Joe Morelle (D, NY-25) was there and said oftentimes veterans do not receive the essential care and support they need when returning to civilian life.

"When you hear talk about troop deployments, you know sometimes it’s easy to forget these are men and women, these are our sons and daughters, our brothers, our sisters, our moms, our dads," Morelle said. "The warfighters are individuals who know that when they sign up and they take the oath that they may very well give ‘the last full measure of devotion’, in Lincoln’s words, to the country and to the republic and the Constitution, and so, you know, for me, I’m always trying to remember, don’t get caught up in all this, this is about people."

The renovated space will include new rooms for counseling meetings and therapy sessions and will be named after local Army medal of honor recipient Gary Beikirch, who passed away in December.