A home of their own: NIU Veterans Association gains vet housing

Property+owner+Jim+Mitchell+gives+a+tour+of+a+house%2C+824+Greenbrier+Road.+The+residence+was+recently+rented+out+to+the+Veterans+Association+for+housing+military+veterans%2C+Army+Reservists+and+National+Guardsmen%2C+among+other+military+students.

Property owner Jim Mitchell gives a tour of a house, 824 Greenbrier Road. The residence was recently rented out to the Veteran’s Association for housing military veterans, Army Reservists and National Guardsmen, among other military students.

By Keith Hernandez

The NIU Veterans Association has found a home on Greek Row for student veterans after a year of searching DeKalb properties.

The house, located at 824 Greenbrier Road, will serve as a place of living for military veterans, Army Reservists, National Guardsmen and NIU ROTC juniors and seniors — all of whom encompass a group of students who traditionally commute, said Matthew Galloway, NIU Veterans Association president and four-year Navy veteran. Capacity for the house is about 20, and six people will start moving in this weekend, Galloway said.

“One of the big issues with veterans and coming back to university is the transition from military life to student life and with that, a lot of them tend to isolate themselves because they’re older, more mature,” Galloway said. “That transition can be difficult for some.”

The idea to provide housing for military veterans became a reality when Galloway was approached by a fellow veteran who owned a property on Greenbrier Road and had a desire for veterans to be successful in school.

Jim Mitchell, property owner and Army veteran, said he heard Galloway was looking for a house, and he wanted to help.

“No one seems to care much for these guys,” Mitchell said. “I’m doing my part in my little world to treat them better.”

There are still minor improvements to be made on the house, but the next step is to get everyone settled in, Mitchell said.

Galloway said he would like to set up an endowment, the interest of which would cover the cost of rent, through the Veterans Association so residents will only have to pay a minimal fee to live at the house. Until then, tenants will each pay $400 per month, Galloway said.

The Veterans Association will hold an open house 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the residence.