With a 3-2 vote at its April 1 meeting, the Sussex County Board of Adjustment approved a special-use exception to allow the Home of the Brave Foundation to open a homeless women veterans' facility near Milford.
Board Chairman Dale Callaway cast the deciding vote. Norman Rickard and Jeff Hudson voted in favor of the application and John Mills and Brent Workman voted against the request.
The board debated the merits of the application and considered putting conditions on the approval, eventually choosing to limit the number of residents to eight at any given time. The board also wants the applicant to return for a renewal of the application in two years.
“The Home of the Brave has a reputation to defend. It's in their best interest to make it work,” Hudson said.
It's been a long-time goal of the Home of the Brave Foundation to expand and offer a home for homeless women veterans. The foundation has operated a similar facility for men for the past 20 years.
Executive Director Linda Boone said the proposed women's home would offer beds for six women and their children with around-the-clock supervision. Boone said on any given night, there are 25 homeless women veterans in the area. She stressed the home would not be shelter, but a transitional home for longer-term stays.
The type of transitional housing proposed by the Home of the Brave Foundation was not permitted without a variance in AR-1 zoning. The home is located along Griffith Lake Drive near Abbott's Mill, outside Milford.