It just seems right to hear Washington County officials are looking at Greenfield Farm as a possible place to care for homeless veterans. Such a use would be in keeping with the spirit of the property, which has been in the county’s hands for more than a century.
Known decades ago as the county’s “poor farm,” Greenfield was a place of sanctuary for needy residents who had no other place to go. Before it closed for good in 2004, Greenfield was operated as a dormitory for residents who needed a little help in looking after themselves.
The County Commission agreed to shut the doors to the facility after being told Greenfield was required to be licensed as a nursing home and meet a number of costly state standards. It was a painful decision because the county farm long had been supported by parishioners of a number of churches in Washington County.
The First Tennessee Human Resource Agency had agreed to lease Greenfield to develop the facility as an adult day care center. But as Press staff writer Gary B. Gray reported earlier this week, that project never materialized.
Now, county officials have been approached by officials with the Johnson City Housing Authority to possibly use the county farm as a component of the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program, which allows veterans to apply for housing through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
We think it is certainly an idea that county officials should pursue.
As we’ve said in this space many times before, voicing support for our veterans is nice. Showing support for our veterans with parades is also uplifting. But it’s actions, not words, that are truly needed to support our veterans.