Soldiers Workshop offers once-homeless veterans creative outlet



By Alison Gowans

Jarome Thompson is deep in concentration.

His focus falls on two small pieces of pink-colored rosewood spinning quickly on a lathe in a basement workshop on the southwest side of Cedar Rapids.

The U.S. Army veteran takes great care in shaping and smoothing the wood pieces. The familiar form of a pen begins to emerge.

“I like the fact you’re making something by hand,” he says.

Thompson, 54, is one of a handful of local veterans taking part in “Soldiers Workshop,” a program offered by Hawkeye Area Community Action Program’s Operation Home initiative.

Operation Home helps homeless veterans and those at-risk of homelessness find housing and other resources.

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