SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - More help will soon be rolling through San Diego for homeless military veterans.
The nonprofit group Heroes Helping Heroes plans to build a fleet of mobile "stand-down" units to bring services and dignity to veterans living on the streets.
"We're able to look them in the eye, give them a hug and say, 'We got you. We didn't forget about you,'" said Heroes Helping Heroes (H3) founder Mark A. George.
George and his group will retrofit old buses and RVs with toilets, showers, laundry facilities, and more. They plan to drive them around San Diego County every day of the year.
Like the annual Stand Down event, the mobile units will offer haircuts, showers, food, clothing, and more. Volunteers will also use the interactions to get homeless veterans connected with resources to help them get off the streets.
"There's a big chasm right now from where they are to where we know they can be," said H3 Executive Director Margie Jones. "We want to take them there by going out and bringing those VA services to show them there's a better way to live."
In addition to the mobile units, H3 plans to buy a 50-acre plot of land in Ramona and build 300 tiny homes. They'll let veterans use them as transition housing until they find permanent places to live.
The tiny home village will also include a fully-functional sound stage, letting the vets tap into their creative side.
"Not only does it give them dignity, but it gives them an opportunity to find their better, best self," said George.
Funding for the project will come from donations, grants, the state budget for homeless services, and also a program to help tap into CRV money from unredeemed bottles and cans.
H3 estimates the project will cost $5.5 million. They're going to go in phases and hope to put the first mobile stand-down unit on the streets this September, launching on the 9/11 anniversary.
"It's amazing when someone looks up and realizes someone cares," said H3 Volunteer Galaxy Glenn. "That one motivation can turn a whole life around."
For more information, or to donate, go to https://heroeshelpingheroes4life.com.