Hero’s Bridge Village, a plan for 44 affordable rental homes for low-income senior veterans, is being proposed for 5 acres owned by Warrenton United Methodist Church. Photo by Hunter Savery

Tensions ran high during a recent Warrenton Town Council meeting when several residents spoke out against “Hero’s Bridge Village,” a 44-unit affordable housing project for senior veterans proposed for land owned by the Warrenton United Methodist Church.  

The project was not on the town council’s agenda but will eventually require a rezoning. It’s being planned by the veterans nonprofit Hero’s Bridge and Warrenton United Methodist Church for an empty, grass-covered lot on Church Street and Moser Road. Hero’s Bridge would rent the land from the church if the project comes to fruition. 

“There’s a lot of misinformation,” Hero’s Bridge founder Molly Brooks told the Fauquier Times. “[Some residents are] hearing a lot of things they don’t like that aren’t even true.”  

The project is intended to address the affordable housing shortage facing Fauquier County, specifically for one of its most vulnerable demographic groups—senior veterans.  

“The biggest thing is the affordable housing crisis,” said Brooks. “There’s about a two- to three-year waitlist for affordable housing for seniors.” 

The development proposes 44 rental units arranged in a campus-like setting on about 5.2 acres. The community would offer “permanent supportive services for seniors that served our country,” according to documents submitted to the town  

The proposed layout of Hero’s Bridge Village shows 22 L-shaped duplexes arranged in a U-shape to encourage interaction among residents.

The project aims to fill a gap in care for seniors who are independent enough not to need institutional care but are unable to live completely on their own. Similarly, these veterans are not wealthy enough to afford assisted care, which locally can cost $3,000 to $8,000 per month, according to Brooks.   





An artist’s rendering of the duplexes planned for the proposed Hero’s Bridge Village. The veterans nonprofit Hero’s Bridge and the Warrenton United Methodist Church need a rezoning from the Town of Warrenton for the affordable housing project planned to serve lower-income senior veterans.


Veterans over 60 are among groups most at-risk for homelessness. The 2023 Point-In-Time survey conducted by Foothills Housing Network earlier this year found that between 2022 and 2023, homelessness rose among both veterans and people age 60 and over. Furthermore, 18 out of 25 homeless veterans interviewed in the survey were found unsheltered.  

The church and Hero’s Bridge need to have the property rezoned before any work can begin. The site is currently zoned for mediumdensity residential. Hero’s Bridge and the church will ask the town council to change the parcel’s zoning to “R-planned unit development,” a designation that would allow for the project. 

Brooks says the rezoning application should be submitted to town officials in the coming weeks.   

Some who live near the church raised concerns at the Sept. 12 Warrenton Town Council meeting that the project would negatively impact traffic, property values and safety. Some who spoke in opposition identified themselves as veterans.  

“We don’t need what y’all are trying to do to us there,” said Daryle Hawkinsa longtime resident of Moser Road. “We can find somewhere else to put that project.”  

While Hero’s Bridge was not on the agenda for the meeting, information about the village was included in the town council’s meeting packet because the nonprofit responded to a request the town council issued in August for affordable housing projects.

The move came after the council denied a request from Habitat for Humanity to dedicate the town’s remaining American Rescue Plan Act funding to its plan to build about a dozen new affordable residences on Haiti Street. 

“I’ve been informed these residents will be bringing issues related to PTSD, depression and substance abuse,” said Jonathan MacQuilliam, a Frazier Road resident. 

“I understand that a lot of us are dealing with issues within our lives due to political natures or even COVID or anything else that might be pressuring us, but these are concerns that I have (about) my wife … walking through the neighborhood with my kids.”  

The comments were met with frustrated responses from some town council members. 

“Nobody vetted me to live in Warrenton,” said At-Large Councilmember David McGuire, an Army veteran. “And I’m gonna tell you something, I do have PTSD. I’m not violent or anything else. I’m a model citizen; ask my neighbors.”  

He went on, “I understand your concerns about the traffic and things like that. But a lot of people don’t serve, and people do. We should honor their service. Broad-brushing people—that people are drunk or drug users or violent—it’s not fair.” 

McGuire’s comments prompted shouts from the audience before Mayor Carter Neville returned the meeting to order. 

Councilmember Jay Heroux (Ward 5) echoed McGuire’s concerns that veterans were not being properly respected by those opposing the project.  

“If not there for veterans, where? Hero’s Bridge is responding to a need that obviously has not been met in the community. So where? Help solve the problem,” said Heroux “Maybe it isn’t the right place, I don’t know. Talk to Hero’s Bridge. Talk to the church.” 

James Hanover, a Frazier Road resident, told the town council that neither Hero’s Bridge nor the United Methodist Church clearly explained the project to nearby residents, which both Brooks and Warrenton United Methodist Pastor Carl Chapman dispute.  

Hero’s Bridge and the church held a town hall meeting regarding the project in October 2022 to discuss the plans and solicit community input, according to both Brooks and Chapman. 

The project’s leaders have since sent out two letters to residents regarding the project, which Chapman said he hand-delivered. 

Both Brooks and Chapman said they are willing to meet with anyone concerned about the project or interested in learning more. Additional information can be found at herosbridge.org. 

Reach Hunter Savery at hsavery@fauquier.com 

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