AVON – Zion Episcopal Church has launched an online fundraising campaign to purchase and renovate the historic Avon Inn, which has now closed, into a homeless supportive housing and service facility for female military veterans.
A GoFundMe fundraising page set up on Jan. 11 says that the facility would be an expansion of the church’s Zion House, which already serves female veterans in need at 10 Park Place in Avon.
“Zion House is expanding into permanent supportive housing in order to provide ongoing services to graduates of the transitional housing program after they transition into permanent housing,” posted Rev. Kelly Ayer, director of the Zion House, who is herself a U.S. Army veteran. “We are also adding a ‘housing first’ program which allows individuals who may not need the higher level of transitional housing to move directly into an apartment and receive supportive services from that space.”
Rev. Ayer said that the building at the Avon Inn has many features that make it suitable for an expansion of Zion House.
“This historic building offers many advantages,” posted Rev. Ayer. “First, it would save a historic Avon property to be repurposed and maintained in all its grandeur like our beloved Ol’ Glory, while providing desperately needed services for our veterans. Second, this space would afford Zion House the opportunity to not only have apartments, but an additional space to increase our work rehabilitation programs by offering a veteran run retail space, hospitality services training space, and conference center all under one roof. Finally, this will benefit the entire community economically by providing new jobs as we hire Job trainers.”
Boadicea Spa Products, their vocational rehabilitation program, work with a supportive work manager and volunteers to make goat’s milk lotion, soaps, and sundries. The proceeds from selling these items supports the female veterans in their program.
Their campaign has raised $510 towards the $4,000,000 goal.