By Adam Smith
“On the battlefield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a nation, let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind.”
This quote from Illinois Congressman Dan Lipinski is an accurate summary of the mission behind the meeting that took place on the morning of Monday, June 9, between Indiana State Senator Jim Banks and the tentative board members of a newly-forming, local non-profit organization. Mr. Greg Metz, one of the tentative board members who attended the meeting, said that the mission of the organization, Wabashiki Development, Inc., is to “develop housing for underserved citizens.”
Wabashiki’s first intended project is to create a residential area for veterans and this project was the subject of the organization’s meeting with Senator Banks.
“The main reason we approached him was to get his support and see what help he would be able to offer,” shared Mr. Metz.
Senator Banks directed the organization’s attention to available grants that could be used to get the project off the ground and was “very receptive to the idea.”
Wabashiki Development, Inc. is currently interested in acquiring the W.C. Mills property for this project, but official progress has currently been limited to brainstorming ideas and the property has not yet been purchased. Mr. Metz explained that he believes Wabashiki’s ownership of the property would be the best of a few possibilities for the land. W.C. Mills has been a hub on the South Side, he says, and if a private, for-profit company were to purchase it, there is no guarantee that the area residents would not lose access to facilities such as the ball fields and playground.
Mr. Metz says that housing is just the tip of the iceberg for this project and expressed a special interest in establishing a counseling center in the residential area for the veterans. With the United States facing a massive numbers of troops returning in the next few years and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs estimating that the number of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to be around 11-20%, the members of Wabashiki Development, Inc. believe that an amenity such as this would be very helpful to the community.
Several of the tentative board members of Wabashiki Development, Inc. are themselves veterans. Mr. Metz is not one of them, explaining that he just wants a way to give back to the troops.
The organization is still in the process of being legally formed so the project’s timetable is still unclear. Mr. Metz hopes to see the project moving forward soon and expects major progress in the next few months.
Mr. Metz brings his 27 years of experience in real estate and finances to Wabashiki Development, Inc. He is an owner of Metz Title Company, Inc. and MRF Real Estate, Inc. You can contact him by phone at 260-568-4706 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.