LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Some Louisville veterans could soon lose their longtime house, Glenmary Home in Cherokee Triangle.
The boarding house for vets has offered a roof over the mens' heads for 41 years. However, COVID-19 has caused a loss in funding for caregiver Lena Lions to purchase the house.
Veterans living at Glenmary offered their raw reaction to the sad possibility of closure to Spectrum News 1 Thursday.
"There's not really anything we can afford," said one gentleman, Steven Matthews.
"There's not another place like this," another resident, Robert Goings, said.
"I really don't know where I'd go, so I hope that doesn't happen anytime soon," said Edward Horning.
Steven, Robert, Edward, and Dennis are four of the six men who still live at Glenmary. Six others had to move out in March when Lions explained they could not quarantine and would have put the others at risk of contracting coronavirus. That also meant revenue from rent was just about cut in half, and that's caused hardship for Lions.
The veterans pondered where they'd be forced to live without the house.
"I don't know where I'd go," was their collective thought.
"I don't know if I'm ready for it," said Matthews, and, "I hate to see anything happen to this place," continued Goings.
Since 1979, the boarding house has operated as a safe place for those who served their country. It was founded by a WWII widow who lost her husband when he committed suicide.
For several of the residents, fellow boarders are the only 'family' they have.
"We just all get along. One happy family. I hate to see anything happen to this place. There's not another place like it," Goings added.
Lions has been leasing the property for eight years and finally decided to buy it. But when the pandemic hit, her dreams were crushed with the cut funding to be able to complete the purchase. Now, she needs at least $200,000 by Dec. 31 to keep her doors open. She also lives at the house.
"The owners of the building have to sell it. I understand that. I get that. But, if we're not the lucky soldiers that buy it, then a lot of us are gonna be homeless, and several of these gentlemen have already been pulled off the bridge," Lions said.
Edward Horning is a 10-year resident.
"I mean, I don't bet on anything. But I'll bet you can't find another place like this in Louisville or Lexington- anywhere. It's just absolutely unique and for somebody, an old goat like me, it's great," he joked.
Lions has started a 'Go Fund Me' page for donations from the community, in hopes of raising enough to keep the home open, "so we aren't sleeping on a bridge, so we aren't standing on a bridge...many more homes like this are needed."