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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