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After five years, East St. Louis veterans center still not open

By AP/KWMU

East St. Louis, Ill. – The old Army Reserve Center in East St. Louis remains vacant five years after a nonprofit group was awarded more than $400,000 in federal and state grants to turn it into a shelter for homeless veterans.

Martha Watts is the board chairman of the Eagles Nest of St. Clair County. She said the group needs more money to finish rehab work on the Joseph Center.

The 22-bed facility is intended to provide housing, medical care and job training for clients.

Watts said the project's original startup cost was going to be about $500,000.

But then the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs revised the cost estimate to $1.5 million.

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