Breaking Ground veterans facility closing after News 12 report

Breaking Ground, a controversial housing program for veterans, is set to shut down in the wake of a News 12 special investigation into allegations of filth and neglect there.

The federally funded program located at the Montrose Veterans Affairs complex has housed at-risk veterans for nearly a decade.

News of its closure comes just three months after whistleblowers spoke to News 12 about claims of dirty conditions and untrained staff at the site putting lives at risk.

Former Navy sailor Robert Cleary -- who's just one of several veterans News 12 interviewed during its monthslong investigation -- detailed deplorable conditions that included holes in ceilings, dripping water and urine-lined floors. One worker even claimed she quit her job after a veteran died of a heroin overdose on her shift. She told News 12 at the time that no staff members were CPR-certified or equipped with the anti-overdose drug Narcan.

Weeks later, News 12 sat down with Breaking Ground executives who denied any wrongdoing, claiming the program was a model of excellence and had been a game-changer for countless veterans.

Right now, Breaking Ground has stopped accepting any new veterans into its program and is planning on closing for good by the end of the year. It is in the process of finding alternative homes for its current residents.

As for a reason for the closure, Breaking Ground says VA data shows that there is no longer a need for its services in the Hudson Valley, and claims that veteran homelessness in the area is at a functional zero.

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