Local residents and veterans petition for creation of new Holyoke Soldiers’ Home

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Nearly 1,000 people have signed the coalition’s petition which states that conditions at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke are unacceptable and violate the patient’s right for safe and adequate care.

According to the coalition back in 2013, a project for a new wing at the Soldiers Home was approved for 65 percent federal funding, but the state didn’t match the funds.

In addition to that, family members have sent a letter to Governor Baker requesting state approval of a project that would create a 53,000 square-foot, five-story building with 120 private rooms and private bathrooms.

When complete, the proposed expansion could house 270 residents. Chicopee veteran, John Hurley told 22News that local veterans deserve better care and accommodations.

“We want to upgrade. We have single rooms for the veterans, they have 3 or 4 per room which is not good that spread the COVID-19 virus around. We want better for our veterans,” Hurley said.

The head of the Massachusetts Department of Foreign Wars also called on Governor Baker to support the new construction.

Hurley said they’ll have until the end of July before they submit their petition to the state. They’ll be holding a standout in Holyoke on Tuesday at 4 p.m. to spread the word about their petition.

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