Ending veteran homelessness is an effort that has gone all the way to the top, with officials up to and including President Obama committed to ensuring that when soldiers return from duty, they have safe places to live. While it's good to have high-profile projects and initiatives dedicated to housing veterans, it's also important to have local and regional authorities, as well as private organizations, renew their commitment to getting vets off the streets in their own communities. A few of these notable undertakings deserve a spotlight, as they are doing important work to help veterans going through difficult times re-integrate with civilian life.

Hotel renovated into refuge for homeless vets
In Macon, Georgia, an old hotel is being converted in Home Port, a complex of rooms for veterans to stay in, local TV station WMAZ reported. With many vets lacking any place to go, the hotel has already filled 11 rooms and hopes to convert 80 more. It is searching for assistance in finishing the work, hoping that the county commission will fund its continued development. Volunteer work from the public is also welcome. Home Port has already seen good results from the rooms it has been able to offer and hopes the rest will be ready soon.

The partners behind the project are currently able to prepare approximately one room every week for habitation. They are hoping to become faster once they secure the funding they seek. Veterans who already live in the ex-hotel space have found it pivotal in helping them through rough transitional periods, when they may not have anywhere else to go. One resident, Tommy Barron, explained to WMAZ that he can live at Home Port with his dogs, and that the feeling of camaraderie is strong between the vets staying there, fostered by their shared military background.

Mac McAfee, the maintenance manager in charge of converting old hotel rooms into new living spaces, told the news provider that Home Port can provide security in the form of meals or clothing for those who are at their lowest. When vets are suffering through periods of homelessness, organizations such as these can be life-savers.

Donation renews San Antonio shelter
A recent report from San Antonio's KENS highlighted another effort to renovate and improve a specialized space for homeless vets. The American GI Forum's Residential Center for Homeless Veterans houses 140 individuals, and has just received $29,000 from local company Briggs Equipment to ensure its kitchens and outdoor spaces are up to par. The city of San Antonio has demonstrated it is capable of providing homes for its entire homeless veteran population.

Even in a city that is so well prepared, there is a need to keep the shelter open and ready to help. American GI Forum National Veterans Outreach Program President and CEO Carlos Martinez told the news provider that 53 more veterans become homeless each month in the San Antonio area alone. This has turned a shelter that was intended to be temporary into a permanent refuge for those most in need.