nola street view.jpg

HEALTH & FITNESS CENTER

Description

To supplement local VA services, this site will be dedicated to wellness aspects for veterans to include fitness training with volunteer professionals, guidance from registered dietitians, secure locker room shower areas for men and women, counseling, barber services, laundry, and a free store with donated goods from the community. Additionally, AA and NA meetings will be held on-site.

Visit Path

Veterans will check-in at a welcome desk, store belongings in baskets that will be kept at the welcome desk, and led to a waiting room. At his/her turn, the veteran will be led to a locker room to take a shower after being provided a clean towel, shower sandals, shampoo, soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a gym t-shirt with shorts and socks, and a numbered laundry bag in which to place dirty clothes. Laundry will be collected for washing during the visit.

Fitness trainers will then lead small groups through exercise programs. Afterwards, each veteran can visit the computer room, meet with a counselor, get a haircut, and enjoy a healthy smoothie from the snack bar. The veteran will then have the opportunity to visit the store to get free supplies before changing into his/her clean clothes and placing the gym clothes into the laundry bag.

At check-out, the veteran will retrieve his/her belongings from the basket. Also, mailbox service will be available so that homeless veterans may have a permanent mailing address.

Location

The ideal site will be a stand-alone building along a major bus route. Avoiding issues with loitering and the accumulation of carts/materials will be of paramount importance so as to avoid conflicts with business and residential neighbors. A warehouse that has available plumbing for shower/laundry requirements will be preferred to keep initial build-out costs low.

Protocols

No drug or alcohol use allowed on the premises. One-strike policy for anyone found to be using or under the influence while at the facility. Must have valid VA identification card and DD214. All veterans must sign a pledge regarding rules and regulations.

Personnel

Permanent employees will consist of welcome desk staff and maintenance/laundry teams. Veteran and community volunteers will assist with the snack bar, store, and computer room. Personal trainers, counselors, and registered dietitians will be volunteers. Security will be provided by retired police and firefighters. Barbers will volunteer time in exchange for reduced-rate chair rental.

Hours

Monday through Friday, 0900-1700.

Weekends

To incentivize personal trainers, the gym will be available free of charge on weekends and during off-hours on weekdays for private sessions with their own clients. Donors and community volunteers will also be allowed entry to the gym on weekends.