Freedom Foundation awarded $990,000 from state for new facility

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 4:36 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -The Freedom Foundation in Cedar Rapids is relocating to a larger space to serve more veterans and a massive grant from the state is helping them do it.

The new location is near 42nd Street and Center Point Road Northeast. The building used to be home to Local Craft Ale House. A Freedom Foundation supporter bought the space to lease to the nonprofit and also footed the costs for half of the renovations.

Then, just last week, the Freedom Foundation was awarded a $990,000 grant from the state to nearly purchase the building in full.

”Right now we’re only short $105,000 to be able to out right purchase this building,” said Lexi Coberly, Executive Director of The Freedom Foundation.

The Freedom Foundation is excited to see their longtime dream of expanding come to fruition, and with state support.

”As a board we’ve been talking about something like this for quite a longtime and as we’ve had those discussions the needs have become greater and greater,” said Chris Wheeler, Board Member at the Freedom Foundation.

The current location near Coe College is serving more than 80 veterans lunch every Thursday. And the food pantry continues to see more and more veterans in need of groceries. The new space will accommodate it all more easily.

”This is where we’re going to have like the tables, the chairs for the lunches in here. Back here is going to be where our pantry is going to be which is going to be 25% larger than our current pantry,” Coberly pointed out.

They’ll be space for games, room for TV and relaxing, and office space to hold meetings and help veterans in need.

”Because of the office space that we’re going to have we do a lot of visiting with veterans that are in deep need of finances. We don’t have to do it out in the open now we’ve got a place to take them they can have a little privacy,” Roger Jensen explained, Vice President of the Freedom Foundation Board.

The new facility plans to serve more veterans not only due to it’s size, but it’s more prominent location near a bus stop and the bike trail. The hope is the clientele will expand there as well.

”We want to draw in the younger veterans, the younger active duty, their family members so we’ll be able to do that here,” said Coberly.

The facility is expected to be complete in February.

The $990,000 dollar grant for this project came from the state’s nonprofit innovation fund. Money for that comes from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.