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Local vets center pushes ahead with limited funds

6:58 PM, May 31, 2013   |    comments
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The Five Star Veterans Center

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  The Five Star Veterans Center is pushing ahead after changing its name weeks ago, severing its ties from Allied Veterans.

The center, since it open, had the Allied Veterans name. The business this spring was busted in a statewide gaming crackdown. The group operated internet sweepstakes centers.

"Anything from a dollar, believe it or not, to 100 dollars," said Len Loving talking about donations that are trickling in. Loving manages the operation on Acme Street along with his wife. The only person who gets a check is the center's cook.

Loving says the center that supports 22 veterans this week has funds to make it through July. Beyond that he says it is uncertain.

Patrick Petty, 30, has a week under his belt at Five Star and is thankful for a roof over his head and an opportunity to polish his work skills.

"Probably be in a ditch," said Petty, who is from Folkston, on where he might be if not a resident in the center.

"I'd be homeless if they did not help me the way they are doing," said Petty.

Loving says he is working with potential donors, but nothing is solid yet.

The center is open to help and ideas to keep the doors open. The Five Star Veterans Center phone number is (904) 723-5950.   

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