A local gift shop’s mission to fund housing for veterans in need has been affected by a road closure.
The owner of the shop, Joseph Rohner, once served in the Navy, Now, he oversees a veteran’s rest shelter that is supported by a thrift store and gift shop in Bay City,
“The purpose of our shelter to help people achieve that independence,” Rohner said. “To help people get out of the rut that they’re in and back up on their feet and complete independence in as short of time as possible.”
Rohner said times have been tough because the biggest part of them being able to fund the shelter through donations has been hindered due to street closures. The shop is located at the corner of N. Henry Street and E. Midland Street is along a section which is closed to vehicle traffic.
“We’ve actually gotten no funding for the last almost eight months,” Rohner said
Both Rohner and his wife have been personally funding the place, but they’re in need of donations to help keep it running.
“What we do here is we pay the utilities, we fix it up a little bit better, it’s a home for them,” said Bruce Douglas, a commander of Veteran’s rest. “We have a washer and dryer; they do their own laundry, so they come, and they go. We try to get them a job within a couple weeks after they’ve been there.”
Although getting to the shop takes a few extra steps due to closures, Douglas said it’s worth it for our veterans.