HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A group of veterans gathered outside the Statehouse to call for more funding and resources for the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home.

They believe that this is a human rights issue that can’t be ignored any longer, and they’re hoping to see funding be given to the Soldiers’ Home now to protect vulnerable residents still living inside the facility. 

The Holyoke Soldiers’ Home Coalition took to the statehouse steps just hours before the Veterans Affairs Committee was set to meet. Committee members were beginning their deliberations on Governor Baker’s bill to reform oversight of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home.

A bill that was filed after investigation into the deaths of at least 76 veterans with Covid-19.

“We’re really out here today for the capital improvements, and that expansion project which calls for 250 new beds and renovations of the current facility, along with an adult day care at the home which currently does not exist,” Troy Henke told 22News.

Coalition members said they also want to see the staffing shortages at the facility addressed immediately.

That’s why they are calling on the legislature to approve funding now instead of waiting on the bill to go through the full committee process.