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WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — A grand opening for the new “Patriot House” in Washington County was held Tuesday. The facility helps homeless veterans.

You could feel the sense of patriotism in the crowd as hundreds of people gathered to cut the ribbon on the Patriot House and welcome home 22 homeless veterans.

It took nine years of planning, fundraising and construction, but now the center is finally ready to help start the healing process for veterans in need.

“Today is a dream come true day. This is a day where we have envisioned a facility to address the needs of our homeless veterans,” Dean Gartland, president and CEO of Washington City Mission, said.

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Jeff Roupe)

At the Patriot House, they will be addressing serious issues like homelessness and suicide prevention. On average, 22 veterans in the United States commit suicide each day.

The facility on West Wheeling Street will be run by veterans for veterans to help them become healthy and productive members of society.

“I’ve been here for a little over a year now. I went through and completed the program, and I actually work for the City Mission, and I will be a residential aide over here at the Patriot House,” veteran Kevin Lubitz said.

The center offers a unique environment where veterans can live, work and grow together, along with providing medical and dental clinics for both veterans and their families who qualify.

“It is a normal intake process that we have here at the City Mission,” Gartland said, “so they do have to have an honorable discharge to be able to reside in our facility.”

The vets who have already come to the facility are grateful.

“I found this place, and it’s really helped me change my life around 100 percent,” Lubitz said. “I owe it all to City Mission and the Patriot House.”

For more information on how to donate or take advantage of the services at City Mission and Patriot House, visit citymission.org.