These homeless veterans almost lost help. Then the community stepped in

These homeless veterans almost lost help. Then the community stepped in
Posted at 4:52 PM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-16 15:15:59-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A non-profit that helps veterans lost its lease with an apartment complex, leaving some veterans in need without a place to stay.

Since that story was shared, there has been an outpouring of support.

"It was almost an impossible situation," August Hite with the HandUp Community Resource center said.

Hite has spent the past few months grappling with how to keep the veterans who his nonprofit serves from ending up on the streets again.

In December, the program hit a bump when its corporate lease at a Chesterfield apartment complex, leaving Hite scrambling to rehouse 17 veterans in just a matter of weeks.

"Was just a tremendous amount of stress. For the VA, for our organization and for the veterans who were coming from homelessness and almost back on the edge of returning to that point," Hite said.

Despite the stress, Hite kept the faith.

"We received a tremendous amount of support from the Richmond community. We had an apartment complex step up. It's called Midtown Gallery. We had private landlords call offering their services as far as housing for veterans who wanted to move into a house," Hite said. "It just felt good."

The generosity didn't stop there. Hite said a Vet Link Service Center that also serves as HandUp's access hub for veterans also received a lot of love from the community.

"We had an outpouring of community support from people dropping off donations, monetary donations and people coming in and volunteering. So we have a long list of volunteers," Hite said. "It has been overwhelming at times. We had to buy a pod to put a lot of the stuff in storage so we can have that as we go through the year."

Hite said if the community hadn't stepped up the way it did, HandUp was in jeopardy of having to shut down the housing program for veterans. Fortunately, that didn't happen and he said he's so grateful for the outpouring of support.