LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) - It’s a tucked away refuge you’ve probably never heard of but it gets veterans off the streets and in some cases brings them back to life.
Central Midlands Transitional Retreat is a Lexington County housing facility specifically designed for U.S. veterans in partnership with the VA hospital. The program offers transitional housing for homeless or in-crisis veterans, as well as training and education to get them into the workforce.
Leadership Lexington is a non-profit network of local leaders working to make a positive change in the county. This year, they’ve chosen the retreat to benefit from their annual project. The group will raise funds for a pavilion area in the middle of the complex.
"We want to provide a place for them to congregate, to have meetings, to have services and things like that,” said Roy Mefford, one member of this year’s Leadership Lexington class.
For a guy like James Wardlaw, who served our country and at one point found himself homeless, he knows what this place can do to bring a struggling veteran back to life.
"If it hadn't been for the VA or this place… I don't know where I'd be,” Wardlaw said. “And for the homeless veteran, there's no reason you can't get help because we're here every day."
He went through the program and now serves as the outreach coordinator. He knows the pavilion space will make a huge difference for these veterans' quality of life.
"They can go and commune together, play cards, play games,” Wardlaw said. “Or work they're working towards their program on. Just have a place to get out of the sun, out of the rain and have time together."
You can also follow Leadership Lexington County on Facebook at @LeadershipLexingtonCounty or ask for more information by emailing LeadershipLex2019@gmail.com.