The Veterans Social Center is a service of and an integral part of the nonprofit, High Road, Inc. The nonprofit was founded by Kenneth L. Hardin, and operates as a
nonpartisan, and non-sectarian public charity designated by the Internal Revenue Service Code 501(c)3 classification. The High Road, Inc. operates solely for charitable, improvement and development purposes and for the furthering and improvement of the populations we serve. The High Road, Inc. is able to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers, and gifts. We’re empowered to raise and receive money to grow and expand this service. We will faithfully contribute the funds raised to accomplish all things necessary to carry out the organizational purpose of the Veterans Social Center. The High Road, Inc. received its tax-exempt nonprofit designation as a Public Charity from the IRS and the N.C. Secretary of State in January 2021.
The idea for the Veterans Social Center was conceived by Mr. Hardin in December 2021. After discussing his idea with Rowan County Commissioner Craig Pierce, he was invited to present the idea to the full Commission for approval and support. On 21 January 2022, he made a presentation at the Rowan County Commission meeting and received unanimous approval from all five Commissioners. On 01 February 2022, he began work on creating and developing the Veterans Social Center. With a small team of two other individuals and through the generosity of donors, he finished the work on 24 March 2022. On 18 April 2022, a Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Celebration was held in the food court area of the West End Plaza. In attendance were Rowan County Commissioners Pierce and Mike Caskey, as well as N.C. State Senator Carl Ford. An estimated 100 people from the community came out to celebrate the grand opening.
There is no membership fee requirement or annual dues for Active-Duty members or Veterans to use the Veterans Social Center. Once inside the facility, there are no charges for food items or to use the recreation equipment. We recognize many Veterans suffer from mental health challenges such as PTSD, depression, and traumatic brain injury from their time in uniform. Our goal is to be a complement to traditional therapy by offering a free and safe place of comfort and relaxation where Veterans can come to socialize with other Veterans. While there, they can enjoy ping-pong and pool tables, Xbox video games, a flight simulator, chess and checker boards, several large flat screen TV's for viewing premium movies and both college and NFL sporting events. On Saturday’s we offer a full sit-down meal to all Veterans who are in the Center. If a Veteran is in crisis or need, we provide information on relevant services and resources to aid in personal care and growth. We have assisted several Veterans who have moved from homelessness to stable housing with household items (microwaves, pots/pans, dishes, silverware, bath items, bedding, etc.). If a Veteran needs clothing, we will provide it along with socks and personal hygiene items.
In partnership with the Welcome Home Veterans Living History Military Museum at the Richards Coffee Shop in Mooresville, NC, as well as through the generosity of individual donors, we have positioned the Veterans Social Center as a small Military History Museum. We have display cases of Military memorabilia dating back from the Spanish American War, Pearl Harbor, WW II, Vietnam and up through current conflicts like the Iraq War. We’ve had local school Kindergarten – 5th students visit the facility to learn about the history of the various items. Military Veteran groups and organizations have held their monthly meetings in the Veterans Social Center at no charge.
The community, business and political support has been outstanding. You can note the names on this website’s Donor Tab who have been generous in their financial support of our Facility. We’ve received donations from as far away as Las Vegas, Colorado, Ohio, New Orleans, Georgia, New Jersey, and Virginia. In addition to the support from the Rowan County Commission and State Senator Ford, we’ve received visits and written support from the Aides of U.S. Congressmen Ted Budd, Thom Tillis, Richard Burr, and Richard Hudson.
The Veterans Social Center is open Tuesday – Sunday from 12 pm noon – 5pm.