Vets4Vets organization wants to build 'veteran campus' in southern IL

Vets4Vets organization wants to build 'veteran campus' in southern IL

CRAINVILLE, IL (KFVS) - In southern Illinois a non-profit organization wants to help homeless veterans get back on their feet and have a place to call home.

The Vets4Vets organization is working on filling 20 acres of land in Crainville, Illinois.

The organization is currently working with other partners to put the cabin homes together between Division Street and Wolf Creek Lane on Old Route 13.

Organizers say they are hoping to create a veteran campus of 100 homes. Executive Director for Vets4Vets, Bruce Sheffler, said the campus won't just be for veterans who are homeless.

"The campus is for all veterans. It's for families of deployed, active duty people," he said. "It's also for families of deployed active duty people. It's also for families of fallen heroes, so this is something that we eventually want to have a multi-generational campus with veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, anywhere."

Sheffler says the project is important because "veterans took time out of their life to serve their country."

"Now they come back, some have fallen on hard times, the economy wasn't good to them. Basically some were falling through the cracks." Sheffler said.

He said Vets4Vets want to do what they can to help them get back on their feet.

Sheffler says there is a Veterans Allocation to Support Housing program, called HUD VASH, which will help veterans afford these homes.

The Vets4Vets organization states depending on how much a veteran makes, he or she will have to pay a portion of that rent.

The organization is not receiving any state or federal funds for this project.

"What we need and what we're trying to do is raise money," he said. "If we bring in somebody that doesn't have a job right now, we can get them in a house, but then we have to pay their utilities, food, while they're finding a job."

Chuck Kuhns, director of Vets4Vets says sometimes asking for help can be difficult for some veterans.

"Each one of these guys, at some point in time, they raised their hand and said, 'I will die for you, I'll give my life for you and this country.' And so then they come home and sometimes there's not a home, sometimes they don't have a job, sometimes they lose their job. And veterans don't like asking for help," Kuhns said.

"And so we say to the people out there, is can you raise you're hand and say, 'yes, I can donate some time, some food, I can get winter clothes for our veterans. And that's we're asking, is for people to step up and help our veterans," he said.

If you'd like to help, you can call 812-773-VETS or

For more information about this veteran campus, click here.

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