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Some military members who've fallen on hard times will soon have a new place to call home in East Tennessee this year.

The Helen Ross McNabb Center broke ground Thursday afternoon on the first phase of its Veterans Housing Initiative.

The apartments located on Coster Road in North Knoxville will offer affordable and safe housing for veterans who've been homeless or are struggling with a mental illness or emotional issue.

Organizers say they want to help honor those who've served our country well.

"We know that folks who have been veterans, who have had an emotional issue, they need a supportive place to do their recovery and they need a safe place to call home," said Jerry Vagnier, president of Helen Ross McNabb.

Construction is expected to take four to six months. Then the center says it will screen applicants with the hope of moving people in to their new homes by late fall.

The first phase will house a total of eight veterans. There will also be services on-site to help the veterans.

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