Veteran launches local nonprofit chapter to help veterans find homes

The organization’s home donation program has been around since 2011 and has given away 52 homes to veterans across the country.
Published: Aug. 23, 2023 at 6:54 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A nonprofit that gives homes to veterans so they do not have to worry about mortgage payments. Now, a Tri-State veteran launched a Northern Kentucky chapter of the nonprofit to help the heroes here.

“The percentage of homeless veterans, are it’s a it’s a problem,” says Michael Smith. “Like we need to work together and try to fix it and get more veterans homes. We work we try to work with veterans also not just like get a home. I try to help with rentals too.

Smith is the president of the Northern Kentucky chapter of the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP).

For Smith, the nonprofit’s cause is one that hits home.

“Well, I’m a veteran. I’m a United States Navy,” says Smith. “I’m a realtor by trade, but I was a veteran myself. So, I wanted to in the real estate world, I realized that there was a need to help veterans know more about the benefits, and also educate my peers on the VA home loan to make it where it’s, it’s a more friendly environment for a VA buyer to go out there and search for their home. I just wanted to give back to veterans.”

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 33,000 veterans experienced homelessness. That number has been dropping for the last decade.

Smith says getting vets to accept the help to get those homes is part of the problem.

“Difference can be huge because you have different paths you can go on in your life,” explains Smith. “You can go on a path of homeownership or, or nice rental with a roof over your head, or you can become homeless. So, those paths can be very different in the outcome. And we want our veterans to have a good quality of life. They deserve it. They earned it. All the benefits to VA benefits all the benefits through the Veterans Association they earned. That’s not a gift. It’s not a handout. Something they paid for already.”

VAREP works to give veterans a real home.

The organization’s home donation program has been around since 2011 and has given away 52 homes to veterans across the country. The homes are paid for, meaning veterans don’t pay the mortgage.

“It’s our lifeblood. Without the funds and innovation of everyone,” says Smith. “No donation is too small and allows us to help and impact more veterans. We’re looking for more people like myself that want to volunteer and help. You do not have to be a veteran. You do not have to be in the real estate sector. You just have to love veterans.”

For more information on VAREP, click here.

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