Building purchased for storage to become veterans' home

Area homeless veterans will soon have a place to call home thanks to the generous donation of a building in Bastrop. Senator David Vitter announced Wednesday that the old Hillview Nursing Home building at 200 South Alvin has been donated by Bishop Johnston and family to be renovated and used as a home for both men, women and families who are veterans and need a home. "The need for this is so real and so great in this area," Vitter said. "Northeast Louisiana is the only part of the state without a home for veterans. "The true test of a country is how we treat veterans coming home and this project meets that test for Northeast Louisiana," Vitter continued. Johnston purchased the property with the intent to make it into climate-controlled storage, but changed his mind after reading a letter to the editor in a local paper. "I saw a letter from Stu Basher about the need for a home and talked it over with my daughters," Johnston said. "I met with the Northeast Louisiana Veteran's Association and told them about the building. When they asked how much, I told them the building was theirs." Area public officials were on hand for the announcement as were members of the NELVA and each spoke about the importance of the project. The new name of the building will be Fort Hero's Veteran's Barracks.