Transitional veterans home on tap for South Philly

The Snyder House, a 40-bed facility on Snyder Avenue near 15th Street, will offer a safe haven for veterans after they return from deployment.
The Snyder House, a 40-bed facility on Snyder Avenue near 15th Street, will offer a safe haven for veterans after they return from deployment.
Posted: October 02, 2013

THERE'S NO shortage of problems waiting for veterans who return home from Afghanistan and Iraq.

Finding a job, recovering from an injury, coping with debilitating stress - the list goes on, and the problems don't get any easier.

But some of the vets who need a quiet and safe place to stay as they pull their lives together will soon be able to find refuge in South Philly.

The Department of Veterans Affairs plans to soon open the Snyder House, a 40-bed facility that will offer a wide variety of transitional services, on Snyder Avenue near 15th Street.

Snyder House will likely begin admitting vets around Thanksgiving, said Joan Ryan, the VA's director of recovery services.

The facility is taking shape inside the former Baptist Institute for Christian Workers, an immense, 102-year-old brick building that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

"This is a treatment facility where veterans can come in, get on their feet and get adjusted to some of the demands they face when coming back from deployment," Ryan said.

Snyder House will be equipped with a computer lab where vets can work on their resumes and receive help applying for jobs.

Therapy will be available, in addition to vocational support and assistance for vets who are looking for housing or recovering from addiction.

The facility will feel less like a dormitory, and more like an apartment building. The bedrooms are private, and come with private bathrooms. Snyder House will also have a gym.

"It's supposed to be a homelike setting, not an institutional-like setting," Ryan said. " allow them to consider, 'How do you cope with having to spend some time alone?' "

Snyder House proved to be a perfect spot for the VA to set up shop because it's close to plenty of public transportation.

"They get the services they need while continuing to go to work every day, have dinner with their family and help the kids with homework," Ryan said.

The VA also liked the appeal of having a facility in the middle of a bustling community - and down the street from the Melrose Diner, no less.

"It's a tight-knight neighborhood, very dynamic and diverse," Ryan said. "This is a neighborhood where veterans I think will be embraced."

For more information on Snyder House, veterans or their relatives can contact Ryan at 215-823-4675.


On Twitter: @dgambacorta

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