Senate Veteran Affairs Committee visits vets’ home in Preston

Senators Address staffing at Vets’ Homes

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(ABC 6 News) – The 17th veteran moved in to the brand-new veterans’ home in Preston on Thursday. But now that it’s built, leaders say they need make sure it stays well-funded and staffed.

Veterans, caregivers and residents in Preston filled a small common area at the newly constructed veterans’ home. State senators from the Veteran Affairs committee came with open minds ready to talk about the future of veteran care.

“And I was really excited when we, as a legislature, agreed to build this facility, but more importantly to be here today with you to celebrate what feels like a monumental change for the community,” said DFL-Senator Erin Murphy.

And those in attendance came with hard hitting questions for senators Nicole Mitchell (DFL-47) and Erin Murphy (DFL-64).

“Going forward we got the funding now this built but going forward what is the commitment of the state’s part going forward as far as funding and keeping these things as good as it is right now,” said one attendee.

Murphy responded saying, “one thing that this place needs is staffing and adequate staffing, adequate nursing staffing.”

The senators say this is a problem across the state and Minnesota is on the hook to make this gets addressed. Staffing shortages also come with pay, housing and childcare issues.

“The investment this last year was over one billion dollars in grants and programs that went out across the state for cities to be able to work on affordable housing and things of that nature and also for more low-income families to have more benefits,” said Mitchell about one way the legislature addressed these issues last session.

These senators want to make sure everyone in the state is getting the support they need. Especially the people who served our country and the people caring for them.

“We love all of our Minnesota’s they are all important and especially for veterans we want them to be able to stay in their community,” said Mitchell.

Another big topic discussed today was making sure women veterans are taking advantage of these services, too.

The senators say a very small number of women stay at veterans’ homes and we need to make sure they’re being cared for.