CHICAGO — Hundreds of Chicago veterans now have a new home. The ribbon was cut Wednesday on a multi-unit residence on the city’s Far Northwest Side.
The $71 million Chicago veterans home is finally ready to open after years of delays and construction problems. Up until Wednesday, the closest home for Chicago veterans was located in far south suburban Manteno.
US Sen. Tammy Duckworth joined the ribbon cutting celebration. Duckworth was the first elected official to press for a Chicago veterans home back in 2008.
But construction flaws and bureaucratic battles have delayed the project for years. A faulty foundation, for a time, had brought the construction to a complete halt.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker attended the event, and made note of how far the facility has come.
“Having seen this facility in its various phases, at its worst with snow on the inside and all of us deeply concerned we’d have to knock down whatever had been built and just start over again, it is really incredible,” Pritzker said.
All this while the Quincy veterans home in western Illinois suffered through a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak, claiming the lives of more than a dozen veterans.
A new and improved $200 million Quincy veteran homes is now in the works, but still years from completion.
Chicago’s veterans home will soon house up to 200 Illinois veterans.
Former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn was also present Wednesday for the opening of the home. Quinn, from the very beginning, was pushing hard to make this happen.