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Charles Fox - CEO of Global IT University
CEO of Global IT University gives veterans shelter at former hotel. Renovated facility provides affordable housing option.
Enter the former Clinton Hotel, on the corner of Clinton and Oak streets, which he purchased in June and is now renovating.
“When the opportunity came to buy the building, I jumped on it,” Fox said. “I grew up one block from here.”
New ceilings and windows have been installed and wall and floor renovations are taking place, as well as work outside. When completed, there will be 10 single bedrooms upstairs, a shared kitchen and shared bathrooms, Fox said. The rent for a furnished room will be $10.68 daily, including heat and hot water.
“The veterans are coming home and they don’t have any money,” Fox said.
The building already has one tenant, Bill Schwehm, who has lived there for more than a decade. A veteran who served in Korea before going to Vietnam in 1967 and 1969 as a U.S. Army staff sergeant, he said the work being done has been well received. The previous owner, Michael May, was in his 90s when he died in 2009.
On-site maintenance man Joe Mondok, who served with the U.S. Navy in Vietnam from 1965 to 1972, said veterans are having trouble finding jobs, which means they often lack funds to stay in a typical apartment where rents often exceed the $320 it would cost at the Clinton Hotel for a 30-day stay.
“The problem is a lack of work,” Mondok said.
While there’s still more work to do, the project has already come a long way, Fox said.
“This was in shambles,” he said, noting that the next major project is the roof.
Much of the work is being done by volunteers, many of them veterans, and donated materials are helping as well, Fox said. That includes GP Construction, of Binghamton, which is supplying workers. Those interested in helping out can find out information at
Though Fox lives part of the year in Florida running his business, Global IT University Inc., he regularly comes back to Binghamton to lead the Clinton Street project.
Those who donate will get free services from his company, which provides Internet-based training.
Along with all of that, staying in touch with his son, Brent Fleicher, who was recently injured while on patrol in Afghanistan, is a priority.
“I’ve got to do something to give back,” Fox said. “It’s my way of keeping America strong.”