Henderson, representatives of Reps.
Johnson said the center's utilities and safety systems would have to be brought up to city and state code to reopen.
Henderson said he inquired with
"When he started talking about giving us this property, I was almost in tears," Henderson said.
"We've looked at numerous offers," Hays said. "We're open to exploring all offers that come to us."
An Episcopal priest, Henderson said the wife of a 92-year-old veteran and a church member asked him for help in gaining admittance for her husband into a veterans nursing home, which at the time had a two-year waiting list.
"A private nursing home costs
Henderson said he led 200 soldiers as a 25-year-old
"They were willing to put their lives on the line and literally die," Henderson said. "We owe them in their time of need."
Built in 2012, Colonel Robert Howard State Veterans Home in
Bassinet said her department determined that converting
Federal regulations, Bassinet said, "generally require that nursing homes must have a home atmosphere with private rooms like an assisted living facility."
Bassinet said renovating the
"We don't need a condo at the beach," Grove said.
Grove said available nursing home space is especially important for veterans who no longer have a family to oversee their care.
Henderson isn't deterred by the state's initial rejection. The reverend prayed at two of
He believes he can use his connections with the Trump administration to gain a waiver for the state. "I know people who will want to do this," Henderson said.
Henderson said the state has failed to apply for
In February, Henderson introduced and the state
Bassinet said her department's most recent needs assessment is 10 years old, so there are plans to start on a new one in 2018.
"That would identify where we want to build our next nursing home," Bassinet said. "We don't have one in the Wiregrass area (around
"If he's working with
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