RSVP Vets Helping Vets Coordinator Lorrie Hylkema had the pleasure of touring the open house for the new Dryhootch location at the Valor on Washington building, which is under construction on the 1300 block of E. Washington Ave. The Valor is due to open in September 2021, which will include 59 limited-income, two-and-three bedroom homes for veterans, active military, and their families.
The Dryhootch space will be on street level and will include three enclosed office spaces, a coffee and kitchen space, and a lounge area in the front of the building. Lutheran Social Services will manage the apartments, and Joseph Frey and Rob Wait will manage the Dryhootch space. Veteran advocate Joseph Frey and veteran Rob Wait have been providing peer support and transportation services for the Madison and Milwaukee Dryhootch, respectively, for several years.
Dryhootch began in Milwaukee in 2008, founded by Bob Curry, an Army veteran of the Vietnam era. Bob says that after coming back from Vietnam, as happens with too many veterans, he suffered with PTSD and subsequent substance dependence. After having an accident while using substances, he sought a purpose for himself and other veterans, which was to establish a safe meeting house for all veterans to meet and share their stories and experiences.
Today marked a new chapter for Dryhootch to join forces with two dedicated and familiar community organizations, Gorman and Company Real Estate Development and Lutheran Social Services. Bob Curry said that the Valor on Washington is the “first of its kind” for Dryhootch, which includes housing for veterans, active military, and families, and a meeting space. Noting that 80% of veterans with PTSD have problems with drugs and alcohol, Dryhootch provides a safe ‘dry’ place for veterans, active military, and their families to receive support, housing or ‘hootch,’ and transportation to appointments and other community resources.
Stay tuned for further information about the Valor on Washington and Dryhootch in the coming months, including a grand opening for this historic new place for veterans, active military, and their families.