barber shop, a chapel, the kitchen, and dining facilities.
“Generally speaking, we take eligible veterans from a 75-
mile radius from the new veterans home,” Murray said.
MOVING CLOSER TO HOME
An arrangement can be made to transfer vets from other state
nursing homes to Port St. Lucie to be closer to family, he said.
Applications aren’t being taken yet, but interested veterans
and families can call for updates.
“Families wanting to inquire about the admissions process
may contact the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Homes Program Office at 727.518.3202, ext. 5562. Basic
admission requirements for all state veterans homes include
an honorable discharge, Florida residency and certification of
need by a VA physician,” Murray explained.
The $62 million home will include 120 beds. The price tag
includes construction, furnishings, inspections, insurance and
taxes. The federal government is picking up 65 percent of the
cost while the state is paying 35 percent, Murray said.
There was a two-year delay between the state’s approval
and the start of construction. It had to do with the design,
Teegardin said. The home was supposed to be complete in
late 2017 or early 2018. Instead, the groundbreaking took
place in May 2018.
DESIGN DELAYED PROJECT
The state was coming along nicely with its plan for the
home with two large wings and a connecting core between
them when the federal Veterans Affairs department required
the state switch to its plan — four separate buildings — since
it was paying the majority of the cost, Teegardin said.
20 Port St. Lucie Magazine
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Shyrell Copas accepts the posthumously awarded Medal of Honor for her
dad, Ardie Copas, from President Obama in March 2014. Copas died in
Cambodia when he was just 19 and she was nearly 6 months old.