We told you about the Veteran that we carried an air conditioner to, because he only had one box fan.
When we got to his home, we had to hold back the tears.
NOONE especially a Veteran who had been wounded twice defending our country, should have to live like this man is.
He has no stove, no refrigerator, no working plumbing, no bathroom facilities. The roof is covered with tarps to keep the rain out, the sheetrock is falling from the ceilings…WE ARE going to create him a safe living space, WITH your help.
The following is an article form our hometown paper today supporting our efforts. Please read it and if your heart is led to donate please do, and we ask that you pray fervently this is going to be a big project.
Hearts for Homeless hoping to repair veteran’s home
Lora Scripps 10 hrs ago
When Hearts for Homeless sees a need in a community, the local organization works to fill the need, whether it be food and water, or heating and cooling.
Founders and members of the homeless ministry, which is based in Limestone County and has grown to more than 3,500 members, want the community to know the organization is about more than just helping the homeless.
Florence resident Cleatus Higginbotham isn’t homeless, but he needs help. Hearts for Homeless is currently working to make sure he gets the help he needs.
Recently, the Vietnam veteran was having trouble cooling his home in the Alabama heat and needed an air conditioner.
Coincidentally, a man from Tennessee had recently donated two brand-new air conditioners to the ministry. The only catch — the Tennessean wanted them to go to someone in need.
After picking up the two air conditioners, Hearts for Homeless set out looking for a family or person in need.
“One went quickly,” said Larry Pierce, a homeless advocate and co-founder of Hearts for Homeless. “The second one sat a couple of weeks, and that’s when a Hearts for Homeless member reached out and said she knew a veteran in need.”
The veteran was Higginbotham.
Pierce and Angie McElyea, another co-founder for Hearts for Homeless, headed out a little more than a week ago to deliver the air conditioner to Higginbotham’s home in Florence. When Pierce contacted the homeowner to get directions, he was told an overgrown shrub would need to be cut down in order to get the old air conditioner out of the window, and they would need to bring tools.
With clippers in tow, the co-founders arrived at Higginbotham’s home.
McElyea said what they found when they arrived was a much bigger need than air conditioning.
Homeless advocates with Hearts for Homeless, a local ministry, cut down brush around the home of Vietnam veteran Cleatus Higginbotham. Higginbotham’s home is in disrepair, and the organization is hoping to raise funds to rebuild.
Courtesy photo/Hearts for Homeless
“Mr. Higginbotham’s house is falling in, literally,” McElyea said. “Roof and ceilings are falling in. Floors are falling in.”
Pierce and McElyea said as they started working, they felt their hearts in turmoil.
“This is a veteran, a man who served in Vietnam and risked his life for our country,” McElyea said. “His house is in shambles, and it’s sad.”
McElyea said she’s talked with Higginbotham in depth.
The home of Cleatus Higginbotham is falling in, and Hearts for Homeless is hoping to give the Vietnam veteran the help he needs.
Courtesy photo/Hearts for Homeless
“We talked about his two tours in the military, and we talked about his life — and, of course, his house,” she said. “I was very disturbed when I walked into his house and saw it was falling in around him. Larry and I talked about it on the way home. No one, especially a veteran of the United States, should be living like that.”
When McElyea got home after visiting Higginbotham, she made a post on the Facebook page for Hearts for Homeless. She wrote about what she had seen and attached photographs to the post.
She said it wasn’t long before members of the organization started reaching out to help.
“Like always, the group was willing to pitch in and help with whatever they could,” McElyea said.
Members wanted to donate not only money, but supplies. Within days, a fundraising effort for Higginbotham was underway.
“The group is raising donations to help get this veteran’s home back to the way it should be,” McElyea said.
A building contractor has been contacted and brought to the home. The contractor believes the home is repairable, but he also believes it’s going to take a lot of hard work and donations to make it happen, McElyea said.
Hearts for Homeless members are already committing their time to help rebuild the home. Jennifer Keck Markle, an administrator with the organization, is spearheading the fundraising efforts.
An account has been set up through First National Bank of North Alabama or Southern Tennessee under the name “Home for a Hero.” The monetary goal is set at $20,000, Pierce said.
The ministry is also looking for supply donations.
“Anything and everything home related is going to be needed,” McElyea said, adding extra plywood lying around or even a box of nails would help.
Monetary donations can be made to “Home for a Hero” at any First National Bank location, online at paypal.me/TheCouponPatrol or on Cash App to $heartsforhomeless. The mailing address is Hearts For Homeless, P.O. Box 323, Athens, AL 35612.
Donors should specify the donation is for “Home for a Hero.”
Permission was granted by Mr. H for us to use pictures of his home, not to belittle,not to embarrass, but yo show you that we need your help for this man who has given so much to this place we call America.
The Forgotten Shall Be Forgotten No Moe