Taking care of veterans

SBP's mission might be to shrink the time between disaster and recovery, but this nonprofit founded in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina has started working on something a little different. Now the organization has set its sights on helping to provide veterans with affordable housing. It recently broke ground on St. Peter residential, a 50 unit veteran and low-to-moderate income housing community in Mid City New Orleans.

"New Orleans is where it all started for SBP. We've always been passionate about helping veterans, so it made sense to build St. Peter right in our backyard," said SBP co-founder and COO Liz McCartney.

SBP has always served veterans, rebuilding for low-to-moderate income homeowners, placing a special focus on veterans, families with small children, the elderly, disabled persons and the under-and uninsured after disasters. St. Peter is intentionally designed to create a sense of community for veterans. The building is designed to encourage community engagement, which includes a wellness center for yoga and meditation, a common room with kitchenette for both tenants and the public,and a series of public and private outdoor spaces for socializing, meditation and community gardening.

St. Peter will also achieve "net-zero" using highly efficient HVAC systems, lighting controls and appliances, in addition to 450 solar panel donated by Entergy of Louisiana, capable of supporting the building's energy demands. The residential complex totals 45,130 square feet with 23 one bedroom and 27 two bedrooms. -- making it the largest net-zero residential building in the south.

"We wanted to design something smart, something that veterans would want to live in," said McCartney. "I think we've accomplished that with St. Peter thanks to expertise from our many partners."

Construction on St. Peter will be complete late in 2019.

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