Proposed veterans center in High Point experiencing delays

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- A proposed veterans center in High Point is experiencing delays moving forward.

Dozens of veterans living and going to school in High Point are also homeless. One nonprofit wants to create a veterans center and a place for them to live at the John Wesley Camp property.

The man behind the project, Bob Uber, originally hoped homeless veterans could live in some of the camp's 12 buildings by this fall.

But the camp's board of directors has not yet granted a lease to Uber's nonprofit group "Heal Our Heroes."

The John Wesley Camp is show its age.

"We'll come in. We'll fix them all up," Uber said.

The 12 buildings on the eight-acre property are 75 years old and for the past two decades, they've mostly sat empty.

Uber, who's also a Vietnam veteran, wants to change that. He wants this to be High Point's first veterans center.

"We want this to be one of the shining beacons of our community," he said. "All we need is permission to move ahead."

Until that happens, the plan is at a standstill.

"It's frustrating. It's been very discouraging," Uber said. "In fact, it has actually made me upset on behalf on the veterans. This is not about me or my organization achieving anything. It is about taking those who have lost hope, those who have faced life and are trying to get out of the challenges that they're facing and they can't."

Uber's vision started through his work with Guilford Technical Community College and its 700 veteran students. About two dozen of them are also homeless.

"It is our goal that they come off the streets," he said. "It is our goal that they succeed as community colleges students. It is our goal, the overall wellness and mental health of these veterans."

These buildings would give those veterans a free place to stay.

Uber says he doesn't want to speculate why the board won't move forward.

FOX8 talked to a member of the board, who didn't want to talk on camera. But he did say they're for the idea. He said board members want to make sure the veterans center can have a long-term home at the camp and they don't want to rush into starting something they can't sustain.

"It's not just two organizations. It is vets' lives that we have at risk here. They just deserve better," Uber said.

Uber said the lease delay also caused the group to miss out on several grants, totaling more than $100,000, from different groups willing to help with the renovation.

It could cost as much as $1 million to renovate the camp into a veterans center.