Hometown Hero strives to provide for homeless vets

By Amanda Porterfield | aporterfield@wcia.com

Published 01/24 2014 01:10PM

Updated 12/12 2014 11:06AM

DANVILLE -- A group which has a mission to help homeless veterans is revving up its efforts to get them off the streets. It's raffling off a truck and some of those fixing it up are military members themselves. WCIA-3's Amanda Porterfield introduces us to our Hometown Hero.

A year ago, this 1954 Chevy was just another piece of junk.

"We affectionately called her a pile of junk when we first got her. I like taking a pile of junk and turning it into a diamond."

With the help of people like Don Sherman, cutting this diamond won't be that hard.

"We devised a plan of where, to cut the frame, weld it back together, put the gussets in it."

Sherman is a former marine. He's one of many veterans and others volunteering their mechanical skills to raise money for veterans on the street.

"It makes me very sad to know what those people have done for this country and knowing that they're out there struggling. This is the least amount that we can give back to them."

That line of work is Midwest Veterans Association's (MVA) mission. MVA started the program in August. The plan is to trick this truck in one year, raffle it off, then hopefully collect a six-figure sum for homeless veterans. In just five months of starting to fix it up, they've already made a lot of progress.

"We're going to have some power windows, some power locks, some AC with it. People just don't realize how bad the problem is and, on any given night, 67,000 of them did not make it into a rescue mission or homeless shelter."

Brian Tallman was a jet mechanic in the National Guard. He's donated most of these parts and hopes bringing awareness to homeless vets will help rebuild his brothers.

"You don't know what they've sacrificed or what they've given up along the way. The least you can do is give a little bit back to them to make sure they're taken care of."

Because, just like this truck, they can get back up and running in no time.

"That's what this thing was; a diamond in the rough. And that's where it's going to be; a diamond."

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