Local non-profit helps veterans avoid homelessness

We Are Building Lives provides transitional housing, job training, and even financial help when needed.
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 11:14 AM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Department of Veterans Affairs reports there are more than 30,000 veterans experiencing homelessness.

But one Middle Tennessee non-profit is trying to combat that problem.

Since Memorial Day, Kirkland has been selling a particular candle with the sole purpose of raising money for the non-profit We Are Building Lives.

That sale ends this weekend and they estimate to have raised around $80,000 to benefit veterans.

All 400 Kirkland locations are selling the candles and 100 percent of the proceeds go towards We Are Building Lives.

We Are Building Lives says this money will help open a second academy house, which they hope to purchase in late spring 2023.

This would double capacity and lend more support to homeless veterans in Middle Tennessee.

“We have people come to us that are in dire circumstances,” said Jeff Upton of We Are Building Lives. “They’re not asking for a few hundred dollars here, they’re literally asking for thousands of dollars at a time because of rental increases, mortgage increases, and just the inflation that we’re seeing across the country.”

Their program helps veterans find full-time housing and full-time employment. Each year they help about 70 veterans and their families from becoming homeless.