DES MOINES, Iowa — A local nonprofit that has helped nearly 100 veterans over the past year is looking for money to expand.
Helping Our Veterans with Everyday Living, or HOVEL, provides services to veterans at no cost to them.
“We supply transportation for them currently and any paperwork that they may need to save the house, to get their medical. Whatever the situation is, to help them find jobs. Everything that civilians might take for granted, that may be difficult for veterans to do, that’s where we stand,” HOVEL Co-Founder and CEO Victoria Lomax said.
The founders are currently running their organization with their own money and want to expand their services, but this would require a new building and more money.
“The Easter Seals building is close in proximity to the VA. So it’s perfect for all of the services we want to offer our veterans: extended hours for showers, emergency shelter, room for them to be able to come and just hang out and talk with like-minded individuals and be able to have wellbeing services. Anything that we have in our brochure, it talks about our services that we want to offer, Easter Seals Building would house all of that for us,” Lomax said.
They’ve applied for several grants, are hosting a fundraiser, and have a GoFundMe account set up to try and meet their goal.
“About $400,000 to buy the building and then we would have to do some renovation with the kitchen. It’s been our goal to… hunger, housing, and transportation are like the three biggest barriers for veterans, and so a lot of our veterans go all day long and days and weeks without eating. So it’s our goal to be able to prepare nutritional meals three times a day for them,” HOVEL Co-Founder and CEO Tanya Kitchen said.
The founders are confident they can still keep some type of service going without the new building.
“If nothing else, we are going to keep doing what we’ve been doing. Our pockets won’t buy Easter Seals, but what it will do is allow us to keep doing limited things for our veterans,” Kitchen said.
To donate, visit the HOVEL GoFundMe page.