James Cole Village Programs


James Cole Village

Volunteers of America of Florida

Betty P. Wiggins Center

4011 N 39th St

Tampa, FL 33610

Program Contact

Judy Durdan

Program Manager


(813) 321-6956

Office Hours: 8 AM to 4 PM


Program Overview

The Grant & Per Diem (GPD) Program provides transitional housing and supportive services to homeless Veterans to stabilize and prepare them for a life of independence. Veterans are able to stay in the program for up to two years.

  1. Must be a male, 18 years or older
  2. Must be homeless or in danger of becoming homeless.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban —U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program provides housing vouchers with VA supportive services to help Veterans who are homeless and their families find and sustain permanent housing.

  1. Accepts 18 years and older male and female individuals and families.


State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program provides permanent housing and supportive services to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness to stabilize and prepare them for a life of independence.

  1. Accepts 18 years and older male and female individuals
  2. Must be diagnosed with a severe and persistent psychiatric disability
  3. Must self-administer medication


Services Provided

  • Case Management
  • Support Services
  • Individual Therapy
  • Development and follow-up with Individual Life Plan
  • In-service and post-service referrals
  • Therapeutic treatment for Veterans recovering from substance disorders
  • Aftercare services
  • Family engagement and education
  • Monthly events
  • Washer & dryer in each unit
  • Monthly events
  • Complimentary laundry facilities on site

Betty P Wiggins

About James Cole

It is a privilege for Volunteers of America of Florida to dedicate the Tampa area Veteran’s Program to Tampa Native & Army Veteran Mr. James Cole. Mr. Cole not only served in the US military, but he helped fellow Veterans in several ways and throughout his life bettered Tampa as a community at large. James Cole Village will help to continue his support of Veterans in perpetuity.


James Cole was born to Madelyne and Robert Cole Sr. in Tampa on July 6, 1944. James attended high school in Hillsborough County, was drafted by the Army at the age of 18, and volunteered to go to Vietnam so that his younger brother (Anthony), who was in Vietnam at the time, could return to the US. He spent over a year in Vietnam in 1966, helping with many aspects including evacuations of wounded and fallen soldiers.


Upon honorable discharge, Mr. Cole became one of Tampa’s first Black Fire Fighters & one of the first black men to attend Barber College. This was not new to James, as a child he and his brother Anthony were the first Black Children to integrate the Jackson Heights Playground on Lake Avenue and 34th Street. James’ interest in becoming a barber was spurred at an early age as his father was a Barber. In fact, James Coles Sr provided young James a stool to stand on so that he could watch his father cut hair, the rest is history.


During James’ career as a barber he helped his community in East Tampa. James helped to mentor children in the area, especially children of struggling families. James guided the children and instilled the idea of being responsible, working hard and earning for themselves. The community was better because of James.


James retired in the late 80’s to pursue treatment for PTSD. He was one of the first to enter and complete the PTSD Program at Bay Pines Veterans Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. Sadly, in 2004 James was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma Cancer due to exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Despite his illness, James stayed active in his church and with the nonprofit Paralyzed Veterans of America. James passed away October 16th, 2017, He is survived by his father; wife Renet; and three children, Todd, James, Naji; and his 8 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild.

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The Latest from Facebook...

Check out these masterpieces from some of the attendees at the Tampa Bay Rays game on 4th of July! #VOAFL recently received a nice stack of picture and words of encouragement to be delivered to Veterans living in our programs. Thank you so much to the Rays organization and to all of you for taking the time to uplift a Veteran in need! We'll make sure to share the many smiles that will soon be coming your way!
#ThankYouNote #GiveBack #RaysUp
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See ya later yellow, HELLO Zen Blue! The first phase of apartments at #VOAFL Cocoa Veterans Village has been completed and they look absolutely beautiful! Thanks to the hard work of our team members and many volunteers from Habitat for Humanity of Brevard County, Inc., #TDBank, American Red Cross, Morgan Financial, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, Combat Vets Association FL 20-1, Community Credit Union, Eastern Florida State College, Hope Lutheran Church and many more! What a beautiful space for #Veteran participants to heal, get back on their feet and find permanent housing. It was a beautiful site to see so many organizations and individuals in the community come together to change a life. We can't wait for the next phase to begin!
#ThankYou #GiveBack #Community
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#VOAFL is excited to kick off renovations on all apartments at Cocoa Veterans Village! Thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Brevard County, Inc. each apartment in phase 1 has been sprayed by Martin Pest Control LLC, is receiving a fresh coat of paint and will have their smoke detectors replaced by the American Red Cross! Are you interested in volunteering for additional phases? Grab your friends, family, co-workers, anyone and signup to brighten a previously homeless Veterans day! More info or to sign up call: 321.252.4367
#GiveBack #ThankYou Cocoa, Florida
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#VOAFL Broward program is looking for a Licensed Clinical Social Worker to provide and oversee mental health services including psychosocial assessments and evaluations and will develop, implement, and oversee Individual Support/Treatment plans for Adults diagnosed with psychiatric illness, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders and much more If you or someone you know is interested in changing the lives of Floridians in need click here to apply: www.voaflhiring.com/jobDesc.asp?JobID=511
Broward County, Florida #LCSW #MentalHealth Social Work Today magazine The New Social Worker Magazine
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Thank you to Radio1300 for this wonderful interview with #VOAFL Cocoa Veterans Village Community Specialist, Michelle Auclair. This #PodCast will give you insight on the history of Volunteers of America, the many services provided, the population that we serve and much more. Thank you for taking the time to capture the full story and allowing Michelle to share the the wonderful things being done to support Floridians in need! Check it out to learn more!
#ThankYou Cocoa, Florida #Veterans #History
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Amazon.com Prime Day has begun!!! Are there any good deals you'd like to share with #VOAFL supporters? If you haven't designated a charity to your account, please consider Volunteers of America of Florida by clicking on this link: smile.amazon.com/ch/58-1856992
Together we can continue providing life changing services and housing for Floridians in need!
#AmazonPrime Amazon Smile #ThankYou #Charity
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Thank you WoodmenLife Chapter 0877 for the generous donation of meat to be enjoyed by #VOAFL Manatee Veterans Village! What an amazing treat to fill our participants belly's and a wonderful gift that will allow us to provide a social activity with a cookout!
#ThankYou #GiveBack #BBQ
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Calling all Panama City Beach, Florida residents looking for work! #VOAFL is looking for a Community Specialist which is responsible for outreach to identity and coordinate resources to nearly homeless and homeless persons. If you or someone you know is interested in changing the lives of Floridians in need click here to apply:
#Hiring #Share #Employement Panama City, Florida
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Earlier this week PM Hotel Group gathered for their annual conference, but kicked it off with a community service event. #VOAFL was the chosen chairty to receive 100's of backpacks full of supplies that will assist the children in our programs that are heading back to school. As if this couldn't get any better, team members have been making cash donations by texting the word Uniforms to 71777. As you can see from this giant pile of backpacks the kids in our programs will be heading back to school with all they need to have a great school year!
#ThankYou #GiveBack #SchoolSupplies Volunteers of America Aloft Hotels Hilton Hotels & Resorts Marriott Hotels DoubleTree by Hilton Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts Embassy Suites by Hilton Holiday Inn
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This is truly incredible! #VOAFL participants have been beyond blessed by Cocoa Beach Elks Lodge 2387 support. Thanks to them, over 314 Veterans moving into permenant housing have received items that will make their house a home. Over $66,000 worth of merchandise purchased from Dollar General, thank you for your ongoing support!
#ThankYou #GiveBack Cocoa, Florida Cocoa Beach, Florida #ElksLodge #Blessing
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Happy Saturday!!! #VOAFL hopes you have the opportunity to enjoy friends &/or family and perhaps make a stranger smile! Thank you for the ongoing support and allowing each week to be better than the last!
#Weekend #Smile #ThankYou
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Cheers to another #Birthday America! Thank you to those that have served, their families and those that continue to serve & keep us safe.
Have a great day with friends and family and please stay safe.
#FourthofJuly #4thofJuly #FreedomIsntFree #VOAFL #IndependenceDay #USA #America #Military
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