Masco Community Center for Veterans
Opens at Piquette Square
Continuing its generous support for Piquette Square for Veterans, Masco Corporation donated $75,000 and the building materials to create a beautiful new space at Piquette that will serve veterans striving to rebuild their lives and groups wanting to help veterans in that effort.
A special ceremony to commemorate the opening of the Masco Community Center for Veterans was held on Thursday, February 2. It was attended by Masco executives, Southwest Solutions leaders and staff, Piquette Square partner organizations, and Piquette tenants.
Also attending the event was Major General Kurt Stein, U.S. Army Commanding General at TACOM-LCMC (Tank Automotive Command – Life Cycle Management Command). Major General Stein and some of his staff toured Piquette the same day as the Masco Community Center opening.
“This center is designed to meet the training, social and recreational needs of veterans living at Piquette,” said Sharon Rothwell, vice president of corporate affairs at Masco Corporation, speaking at the grand opening.
Sharon also talked about how Masco was deeply impressed by the expertise, leadership, partnerships, and dedication to make Piquette a model of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless veterans. “Piquette is the poster child for how a community can come together to support veterans,” Sharon said.
Major General Stein thanked Masco for its dedication to assist veterans. “The Masco Center is a tremendous area to help veterans with their personal and professional growth,” Major General Stein said. “I also thank Southwest Solutions for pulling together Piquette Square and for all you do to serve those who served our country.”
In his remarks, John Van Camp, president of Southwest Solutions, spoke about the history of Masco’s involvement with Piquette. In the construction of Piquette, Masco supplied fixtures, cabinets and lighting for each of the 150 apartment units. The materials were discounted and the state-of-the-art lighting system was donated (amounting to a $130,000 contribution). When Piquette opened in June 2010, Masco employees provided gift bags for all the tenants. Masco has also organized many special events for the Piquette veterans.
The idea for the Masco Community Center was born after Melonie Colaianne, president of the MASCO Corporation Foundation, inquired about what enhancement to Piquette would best serve the needs of veterans.
“Key to the Masco Community Center for Veterans is that the veterans themselves helped determine the best use for this space,” said John Van Camp. “The Piquette Square community thanks Masco for its generous and sincere partnership and support.”
The center features new doorways providing direct access to the outside, audio-visual technology, workstations, new furniture, portable room dividers, a kitchenette, oak cabinets with granite countertops, and other amenities. Almost all the building materials are Masco brands.
The center will be used for workforce development training, financial literacy workshops, social and recreational gatherings, support groups, special events like movie and bingo nights, art and cooking classes, meetings for veteran-serving organizations and community groups, and other functions. In some of the cabinets, the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) will store clothing that the veterans need to interview for jobs or start work.
“I cannot tell you how much this means to our veterans,” said David Cohen, one of our HVRP specialists, and a decorated combat veteran himself.