The Fourth of July is time of remembrance and celebration. It can also be a time to give back to those who gave so much to our country. That's exactly what a local non-profit called three Hots and cot wants to do, with all of our help.
Three Hots and Cot was chosen for a nation-wide competition. Winning this competition could mean more places for our veterans to rest their heads.
25,000 dollars could help make run-down homes livable for a few of our local veterans. All that's needed is a facebook account.
"Our goal is housing and income stability. It doesn't do any good to get them and put them back on the streets, if in sixth months they're living on the streets again," said J.D. Simpson.
J.D. Simpson is the founder of Three Hots and a Cot, an organization that gives homeless veterans a place to stay. But the need far outweighs the resources.
"We've had 183 people in our program. We're at about an 83 percent success rate. Unfortunately I'm tired of telling people on the phone there's no more room at the inn," said Simpson.
Which is why Simpson has his sights set on this house. This three bedroom fixer-upper is the newest addition to the organization.
"We're calling it shared housing. Put two or three together in a house and they can split the costs," said Simpson.
But he needs money to fix it up. Which is why he entered the Home Depot Foundation's Aprons in Action competition. People can log on to facebook and vote for their non-profit organization of choice. The one with the most votes wins 25,000 dollars.
"It's not much to ask for these guys and girls who served our nation," said Simpson.
One them is army veteran Nelson Davidson. He is a product of three Hots and a cot.
"I ended up losing my job because of medical problems and I had no where else to go," said Davidson
In fact, he went from needing assistance, to becoming an assistant manager at one of the living facilities.
"I've seen what I can do now to help other veterans and this is what I want to do," said Davidson.
Simpson, a veteran himself, says this competition is about more than winning. It's about showing appreciation.
"We don't leave our men and women behind on the battle field. It a big mantra of ours. If we're not going to leave them behind on the fields of Afghanistan or Iraq or Vietnam or Normandy, why are we leaving them behind in the streets of Birmingham," he said.
There are four organizations in the competition. Right now , three Hots and cot is in second place, 191 votes behind an organization in Michigan.
Every has until July 31st to vote. Three Hots and Cot has helped nearly 200 veterans since 2007.