BARNEGAT TOWNSHIP, N.J. — A former U.S. soldier in New Jersey is donating 36 acres of his land to build a retreat for homeless veterans who are struggling with addiction and mental illness.
Earlier this month, Marty Weber signed a letter of intent to donate the land in memory of his longtime partner, Jeff Poissant, who he met and fell in love with while they were both stationed in Germany in the 1980s, NJ.com reports.
Weber told the newspaper that Poissant died of bladder cancer four years ago at the age of 56. Before his death, Weber said the two had discussed using their property in Barnegat Township to help other veterans who are struggling.
Weber eventually was put in contact with Paul Hulse, the CEO and President of Just Believe, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the homeless and disenfranchised in Ocean County, New Jersey.
Weber and the organization came up with the idea to build Jeff’s Camp on the land in honor of Poissant. They hope to build an 8,000-square-foot building that will be home to a professional treatment facility and a thrift store run by Just Believe that would employ veterans living on the property.
The facility would be operated by New Life Addiction Services. Just Believe says it would provide supportive transitioning, housing, detoxification care, intensive outpatient recovery, counseling programs, life skills training, and wraparound services.
They also plan to build a sober living residence that would include several bedrooms, common areas, and support group spaces.
Hulse says the project is estimated to cost about $2.5 million and the organization hopes to raise that money through private contributions, as well as grants. The first fundraiser for the project is a charity golf outing that’s set for Aug. 9 at Trump National Golf Club Colts Neck.
“A donation to the organization means we're just one step closer to achieving our goal of building Jeff's Camp, a vision that ensures the opportunity to transition our veterans that struggle with addiction or mild mental illness have an opportunity to get back into normal sustaining lives at some capacity and will always have Jeff's Camp to retreat to when they need our services,” Hulse said. “We thank you so much for your patronage in this great mission to help those in need in our community and who served our country.”