LITTLE RIVER, SC (WBTW) – A nonprofit organization is giving homeless veterans in Horry County a place to stay and an opportunity to get back on their feet.
The Veteran’s Welcome Home and Resource Center in Little River received a large container this summer, and, since then, volunteers have worked to transform it into a home for a homeless veteran. The center is now ready to unveil the home to the public. “It is much more than just a place to spend the night. It is a life-changing experience, we hope,” said Keith Bacon, Board Chairman.
The Resource Center currently has a group shelter inside its building. One by one, it hopes to move veterans living there into the new trailer on the property, which the center is calling the Rotary House, to help prepare them for civilian life. “What we hope is by housing anyone who is homeless, they can return to society and hold their head up and feel like they’re a part of society,” Bacon said.
Director Ronald Wilson said the goal is to get each veteran who lives in the Rotary House to become independent and self-sufficient. The Resource Center will assign each vet a mentor who will help them get a job, continue their education, or manage their money. “There’s supposed to be a reintegration process. Not like what we got when we came back from Vietnam. It was, ‘You’re out of the army, here’s your plane ticket, goodbye.’ And there was all kinds of problems,” said Wilson.
The center is not putting a time limit on how long a veteran can live in the trailer. Volunteers say they don’t want any additional stress to derail vets from getting back up on their feet. “Most of the veterans who come into our facility here started off real well and for one reason or another they got into situations that they couldn’t get out of. So it’s our job to help them get out of those situations,” Wilson said.
Board Chairman Keith Bacon says the center mostly serves Vietnam veterans but hopes the new housing will attract younger veterans. “Feel free to hold your head up, you’ve served your country well. Come up here, talk to us, let us help you,” he said.
The Veteran’s Welcome Home and Resource Center will hold an open house for the new home on Saturday, November 11th, from 2 to 4 PM.