The Plight of Homeless Veterans
If you run into someone at a homeless shelter, there’s an 11 percent chance that they’re a veteran. On any given night, an estimated 40,000 military men and women end up sleeping on the streets. Donnie Davis, Amazing Grace Ministries Pastor and Operation Safe Haven founder, knows full-well why these dedicated citizens end up hungry and unsheltered.
As a former military man and victim of PTSD, Davis is critical about how the military handles returning veterans: “We come back to a civilian world, you get a 30-minute class and you’re done. No one talks about the struggles, no one talks about the nightmares, no one wants to talk, period.”
To help his fellow veterans adjust to civilian life, Davis kick-started Operation Safe Haven in July of 2016.
He’s now raised $200,000 of his $500,000 goal.
From Abandoned Campground to Symbol of Hope
Located on what was once a bustling campground, the 277-acre campus offers veterans a safe place to stay and work through their physical and emotional issues. By the time his team finishes, Davis hopes to have 60 fully-outfitted tiny homes on site.
But Davis knows the lack of housing is only part of the problem: It’s about “giving these guys everything they need, not just a house. The house is easy, but providing the 24-hour care, on call counselors — those are the things that we need to put in place.”
In addition to therapy, Operation Haven hopes to offer these homeless veterans off-site classes and job training. In return, the veterans help maintain the grounds and the gardens. Upon acceptance, every resident will be provided with a personalized therapy plan and up to two years of rent-free housing.
The Most Important Thing
By helping veterans get back on their feet, Davis hopes to build a stronger community. “The goal is to make better men and better women. Better husbands, better wives, better children — to truly give back. If we can bless one person — say we bless the husband, the wife is grateful, the kids are grateful. It affects the whole family and eventually the whole community and that’s what we’re here to change,” he said.
You can find out more about Operation Safe Haven by here.
Davis isn’t the only one capitalizing on the tiny house craze.