Old Prince Mongo castle transformed to help veterans

Prince Mongo's castle transformed to help veterans
Published: Nov. 10, 2014 at 11:40 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2014 at 11:52 PM CST
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(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The old Prince Mongo castle is being transformed into something that will help young veterans transform their lives.

Jerome Hardaway took over the old building last June when army veteran Justin Davis was killed following a stand-off with Germantown police.

Davis was a veteran who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  His family and friends needed help paying for the funeral services, so they contacted Hardaway, a fellow veteran.

"I was able to start a social media campaign," Hardaway recalled. "In about 27 hours, we raised about $10,000."

But in that moment, Hardaway realized that Davis was not alone in his fight.

"Forty-nine percent of veterans that are post-911 have transition issues in the first two years outside of service," Hardaway explained.

That's where Frago was born; a non-profit organization that has taken over the old Prince Mongo Castle and committed itself to changing the building into a full-fledged veterans' tech job training center.

Overtime, Hardaway will replace the bars and 90s-like decorations with office space, learning labs, and a place for the community.

"It's just something that we can dynamically change into an environment that will keep on training with services that are needed," Hardaway added.

Frago hopes to have this project completed by 2016, and to begin programs for young veterans.

For a rare look inside Prince Mongo's castle, click here.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.