POLK TOWNSHIP — A historic hotel in the Poconos will soon be home to veterans who need a place to stay.
It’s part of a project to help those vets who might find themselves homeless get back on their feet.
When we got to the former Hotel Jonas near Brodheadsville, people were all over the place, working to bring the future veterans recovery center up to snuff.
The Valor Clinic Foundation put out the call for help and help is what it got.
On the inside of the former Hotel Jonas along Route 534 near Brodheadsville, crews have the daunting task of transforming this building – over 100 years old – into a new home for homeless veterans.
On the outside, the job’s the same and dozens of volunteers have come to help the Valor Clinic Foundation – a non-profit that helps vets do all sorts of jobs – free of charge.
“Doing whatever we can, needs a ton of work, any manual labor I’m doing,” said Rob Kaye of Effort.
Rob Kaye and his two sons wanted to give back to a cause near and dear to their hearts. Kaye’s an Army vet. His son Alex is in the Army Reserves and someday, the Hotel Jonas will be called the Major Paul Syverson Veteran Sanctuary.
“Been here for dinner once a couple years ago, I think this will be a big turn around and a lot better situation,” Alex Kaye said.
“A lot of time, what keeps them alive at war makes it difficult at home,” said Mark Baylis, Valor Clinic Foundation.
Baylis has spearheaded this project, helping to get a grant from casino revenues to buy the Hotel Jonas, complete with furnishings intact and turn it into a center where vets can learn life skills, get counseling, and stay free of charge.
It already has a nickname: Paul’s House.
While the vets get to stay inside Paul’s House, the folks behind the project say many times the veterans don’t want to leave man’s best friend behind for the shelter, so they plan to build kennels outside the shelter so their four-legged friends can stay with them there.
“There’s many in our area who can use this help, that’s why we decided to come out here and lend a hand.”
Sherry Paules and her fellow church members came from Lehighton to help and even brought $10,000 for the cause. She says the more help for “Paul’s project,” the better and the folks with Valor could not agree more.
“To the degree they come out, it’s amazing, can’t put it into words,” Bayliss said.
Paul’s House at the old Jonas Hotel could be ready by October if all goes according to schedule
The Valor Clinic expects to help vets on a 90-day schedule, help them find work and a home.