The following letter was also sent to Gov. Charlie Baker:
Dear Governor Baker,
The Holyoke Soldiers’ Home Coalition extends our deepest gratitude to you in the creation of the legislation for a new Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke. We also sincerely thank every legislator for the unanimous support received for your $400 million bond authorization.
We now eagerly await your signature that will begin the next phase toward what every family member and Veteran and concerned citizen on our Coalition has sought – a new Home that our Veterans deserve.
Our Coalition is a grassroots organization of people who came together in May of 2020 to advocate for reforms to improve the quality of life of residents at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke. Our highest priority has always been achieving statewide support for a new Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, to include an adult day health care program.
We worked hard to put forth our ideas to include a design that will accommodate the intense demand for Veteran long-term care, that will meet the unique health care challenges our Veterans face today and for future generations, and that will incorporate the very best in long-term care standards and small-house design principles. When the new Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke admits its first Veteran on the new campus, we believe it will be the best state Veterans’ home in our nation and will meet your vision, and ours, for a Home that provides the best care with honor and dignity.
With your leadership, the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance has completed an outstanding design, and our Coalition looks forward to the state’s submission to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the August 1 deadline for the VA state home construction grant program. We are confident your administration, working with our congressional delegation, will ensure the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke is both eligible for the 65 percent federal reimbursement of the project and will be placed in Priority Group 1 for expedited attention.
Our Coalition will continue to track and monitor the progress of this historic and most important capital project, and we ask that your administration continue to keep us apprised of new developments along the way. Please know that we want to be involved in the future of our Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, and we will always be available to provide input and feedback.
Congratulations on this tremendous achievement. We hope you will invite family members of deceased Veteran residents of the Soldiers’ Home as well as members of our Coalition to the signature ceremony, and we hope the ceremony is held in Holyoke. We have been awaiting this moment!
The Holyoke Soldiers’ Home Coalition