MILWAUKEE — A veteran organization in Milwaukee has recently repurposed one of their spaces to fill a need.

The Center for Veterans Issues has been around since 1969. They’ve been making an impact on the veteran community for decades.

Years ago, they opened the Troop Cafe, a place for veterans to learn job skills and a restaurant for people in the community to enjoy.

The cafe didn’t survive the pandemic, but the space was recently turned into a market to make a greater impact on the veteran community.

Marilyn Laster has been working with veterans for the past eight years. She’s a program assistant with CVI.

This past year she’s helped get the Heroes Market up and running.

“It’s been very rewarding to see those veterans come in and you can tell them that they can take what they need,” Laster said.

The need for food and other basic necessities has grown, including in the homeless veteran community. This market addresses that.

“I think the need is there. We get veterans coming in every day needing all kinds of assistance,” Laster said.

Even though the Heroes Market has been open for less than a year, they’ve already helped nearly 70 veterans get the resources they need.

(Spectrum News 1/Megan Marshall)

“It takes a lot for a veteran to say they need help, so when they walk through our doors and we can help them, it’s a wonderful feeling,” CVI Vice President of programs and services Michael Beal said.

CVI employees volunteer to restock the shelves and are on call seven days a week for any veterans who may need to stop by and pick up items they need.

Both Beal and Laster said they know this market will make a difference in many veterans’ lives.

“I know it’s going to make a positive impact on the veterans and they will inform other veterans as well about it,” Laster said.

For more information on how to access the Heroes Market, you can call the Center for Veterans Issues at ​(414) 345-4254.

(Spectrum News 1/Megan Marshall)