COLORADO SPRINGS — A local foundation is on a mission to give every single homeless veteran a roof over their head.
719 Heroes is a foundation created by Sellstate Alliance Realty, a local real estate company in Colorado Springs. Their mission is to get all 103 veterans that sleep on the streets of the Springs into transitional housing.
For the last year and a half, Carrie Lukins--a realtor with Sellstate Alliance--and her team have personally paid for transitional housing for veterans at Mt. Carmel. It costs about $18,000 dollars to house one veteran, so the foundation created a fundraising campaign called Operation Step Up.
"We want our community to know that there are so many needing help and so our goal for the next two and a half years is to end homelessness in Colorado Springs," Lukins said.
When a veteran is housed, he or she gets to stay for 90 days. Veterans also receive mental and physical healthcare as well as job placement services.
"We don't know their story and our freedom isn't free and they put their lives on the line and they go through so much," Jana Bingham, the broker for Sellstate Reality South in Pueblo, said.
The foundation is made up of people who have served, or they have loved ones in the armed forces, making their mission even more important.
719 Heroes raises money by sponsoring events like the 9/11 stair climb at UC Health Park. Beyond that, they partner with other local organizations to host annual fundraisers and support local law enforcement agencies, first responders, teachers, and healthcare professionals.