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STC, home builder work to give veteran a house

ST. CHARLES – A wounded veteran is on track to getting a house to call home in St. Charles.

Operation Finally Home Illinois and the Northern Illinois Home Builders Association are working to build a home for the veteran this year.

And the City of St. Charles plans to provide the land for the project. Tuesday, the City Council is expected to approve proceeding with the transfer of property south of Park Avenue just west of Route 25 to the Operation Finally Home program.

John Hall Jr., of St. Charles-based John Hall Homes, said the city’s contribution means a lot.

“To me, it’s basically everything,” he said.

Hall has been working on the project since 2010, when he and his brother were approached about the subject, he said. He said he and his subcontractors were excited about the opportunity.

“It’s been a process that has been embraced by a lot of home builders in the country,” Hall said, adding Operation Finally Home began in Texas.

According to its website, Operation Finally Home has built, is building or has plans to build houses in Texas, Kansas, Montana, Tennessee, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina and New York.

The homes go to wounded and disabled veterans as well as widows of the fallen, according to the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization.

“We just all feel the same, that we need to reward our heroes,” Hall said. “And that’s why we’re doing it.”

The city’s Planning and Development Committee initially backed Hall’s request for a land transfer in July 2010. It reaffirmed its commitment Monday.

City planner Matthew O’Rourke said the group of city-owned properties south of Park Avenue between Third and Fifth avenues had once been used for public works facilities but is now under-used.

The parcels can be combined to create two lots, O’Rourke said.

Hall expects site improvements will begin this spring with construction to follow, he said. The house will be designed with the veteran’s needs in mind, he said, noting the veteran’s name will be released in an official announcement.

Candidates for the homes apply directly to Operation Finally Home, which works with the Department of Defense and military hospitals to approve the veterans, Hall said.

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• Find Operation Finally Home Illinois on Facebook

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