What we do: providing shelter and support to Veterans.

The Eagle’s Nest is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization with a mission to empower male homeless Veterans to achieve their highest level of self-sufficiency, economic independence, and rejoin the community as productive members of society. In November of 2009, The Eagle’s Nest opened their doors to The Joseph Center, a 26-bed, secure transitional housing facility in East St. Louis. It provides supportive housing to homeless veterans and is the only center of its kind in Southern Illinois.

Past and Present Partners

  • The Department of Health and Human Services
  • The Department of Veteran’s Affairs Grant and Per Diem Program
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development/SHP
  • National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA)
  • American Network of Minority Employees
  • Dynamics Research Corporation
  • Labor Ready
  • Connections for Tomorrow CT4 Net
  • The Bonner Foundation
  • Commerce BancSharers Foundation
  • St. Louis Rams foundation
  • Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
  • Illinois Workforce Advantage
  • East St. Louis Community Development Block Grant
  • The East St. Louis Action Research Project (Past)
  • The Neighborhood Technical Assistance Center, East St. Louis, Illinois
  • Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago-AHP West Pointe Bank of Belleville, Illinois
  • Southwesern Illinois College (SWIC) Granite City Campus
  • St. Matthew Baptist Church
  • Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church
  • New Life Community Church
  • Lily Hill Baptist Church
  • Mount Joy, Edwardsville
  • Yesterday's Kids
  • American Legion Ladies' Auxilery Post 325


The Eagle’s Nest was the shared vision of Carl and Martha Watts.  Martha and Carl began the quest for information and assistance with determining the need and feasibility of a transitional housing program for homeless veterans.  With federal assistance, Carl and Martha surveyed homeless veterans at local shelters to determine the need for a transitional housing program and the types of supportive services needed for veterans to gain independence and self-sufficiency. The Eagle’s Nest has been a long-term member of the Homeless Action Council, the Continuum of Care for St. Clair County (HAC) and is the only organization addressing the various needs of homeless military Veterans located in a single facility.

A Board of Directors was established, and The Eagle’s Nest was incorporated in 1997, with Carl Watts acting as the first president.  Sadly, Carl died in May of ‘97.  Martha Watts now presided as the president of the board until she became the executive director in November of 2009.

In fall of 2000, The Eagle’s Nest submitted a proposal to the Department of Health and Human Services for the Private Muldrow Center located at 5020 State Street in East St. Louis, a former military reserve center that had been designated for homeless shelter use under the McKinney Act.  The Eagle’s Nest was awarded the property in March 2001.

In 2004, The Eagle’s Nest was selected to be part of a two-year Capacity Enhancement Program that is sponsored by the Non-Profit Services Consortium and funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.


For more information on The Eagle’s Nest and The Joseph Center, contact Martha Watts


The Joseph Center
5020 State Street, East St. Louis, IL 62205