Home Depot, local veterans organization partner to remodel home for veterans

OKEMOS, Mich. (WILX) -  After risking their lives to fight for our country many of our veterans have no place to call home.

One woman in Mid-Michigan is doing something about that by launching her own non-profit group.

The National Network Organization for Veterans in Lansing helps find homes for veterans and the organization itself is getting some much-needed help.

The Home Depot Foundation has partnered with the organization to transform an Okemos home for homeless veterans.

15 members of "Team Depot" are remodeling the home.

The captain of the team, Brandon Pearl, is a veteran himself.

“Knowing that they’re going to have a safe place to call home so they can focus on other things in life is really going to give them a sense of safety and security to be able to move forward,” said Pearl.

Tanja Simmons, the CEO of National Network Organization for Veterans, is the driving force.

Home Depot's manpower and money is just what the organization needed.

“They need help, they need so much help,” said Simmons. “They fought for this country so they shouldn't be homeless and that’s my mission.”

Three veterans will spend two years living in the home. They’ll have access to job training skills, medical care, even counseling.

“There are a lot of homeless veterans that are committing suicide,” said Pearl. “I think that this will really have an impact on bringing people away from that knowing that they have that community and pulling them back from the 
edge.”

Watching it all unfold is Fred Clark, who is set to move in soon.

“There are a lot of veterans out there that need help and some of them get help and some don’t,” said Clark. “You have to keep striving, you cannot give up.”

The men and women making it happen are showing no signs of giving up either.

“It really is a heartwarming and a moving event to be able to come out for a day or two and make such a huge impact in someone’s life,” said Pearl.

The National Network Organization for Veterans already has a seven-bedroom home and a four-apartment building in Lansing.

Simmons says that's all the group has been able to afford since it came together five years ago.

Home Depot and the National Network Organization for Veterans could always use volunteers.

Visit your nearest Home Depot store for details, and click here for volunteer opportunities at the National Network Organization for Veterans.

The USDA recently launched a website for military veterans that focuses on the areas of employment, education, and entrepreneurship and each section offers information on veterans’ programs from the 17 agencies within the department.

 

 

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