Holyoke Soldiers’ Home Coalition members push for better living conditions at the facility

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Holyoke Soldiers’ Home Coalition has been calling for better living conditions for veterans at the facility, even before the pandemic began.

Now with the recent criminal charges following the investigation, this coalition hopes things will start moving forward.

The Holyoke Soldiers’ Home Coalition is calling for an extension to be built at the facility that would include an additional 120 beds with bathrooms and showers to better the living conditions of veterans.

The coalition said that poor living conditions were made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and that multiple veterans should not be confined to living in one room.

22News spoke with coalition member Steven Connor, Director of Veteran Affairs in Northampton, who said they want to honor the 76 lives lost by building this extension to the Soldiers’ Home as a memorial.

“The veterans of Massachusetts deserve a whole lot better than what they had and this tragedy has just accelerated it and I’m hoping that everybody, I mean everybody, in the state comes through and provides for these veterans,” Connor said.

When 22News asked Connor how this tragedy could be prevented from happening again, he told us that people need to call their legislatures and demand a better facility for the veterans.

The coalition is also pushing for adult care program to assist families and caretakers of veterans who are also working.

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