Warrior City, Five STAR, hoping to work together to move center forward

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The President of Warrior City, and the CEO of Five STAR Veterans Center say working together is critical to helping the hundreds of homeless veterans in northeast Florida.

"This really is about veterans helping veterans" said Jerry Shaffer, President of Warrior City. Shaffer lives in Jacksonville, but heads up the Texas-based organization.

"We're talking about 400 homeless veterans in Jacksonville," he said.

Funding continues to be a problem for the area's only homeless veterans center. Len Loving, the CEO of Five STAR, says Warrior City can drum up support to raise money. Though he says Warrior City has some issues with the way the center is run, such as management and money concerns, finding a way to work together is critical.

"In order to give the image to the non-veterans who can help, it should be more of a coordinated effort," he said.

Loving says rumors of Warrior City trying to "take over" running the facility, have caused at least one potential donor to back away. He, and the board say a take over won't happen.

"The board doesn't even want to entertain an arrangement that would end in a change of leadership," he said.

Shaffer says Warrior City wants to work with Five STAR to help move the center forward. It's something he says needs to happen before it's too late.

"There's a genuine fear of the center going under and not being available to veterans," he said.


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