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Charities build homes in Denver for wounded veterans

 

Contributed Michele, Emilie, and Sgt. Jason Hyde stand in front of the home being built for them in Denver along with Dana Bradley, president of Patriot Charities, which is leading an effort to build homes for disabled veterans.

Contributed
Michele, Emilie, and Sgt. Jason Hyde stand in front of the home being built for them in Denver along with Dana Bradley, president of Patriot Charities, which is leading an effort to build homes for disabled veterans.

 

JENNA-LEY HARRISON

Staff Writer

One former Marine and his family have been chosen to receive a new home in Denver in connection with a five-charity collaborative effort for wounded veterans.

Sergeant Jason Hyde, of Spartanburg, is set to move into the two-story Katherine Drive residence next month with his wife Michele and their four children, ages 4 to 19, Dana Bradley, president of The Patriot Charities, said.

The home is the first of five that crews will build side-by-side along the Denver roadway.

In addition to Bradley’s organization, the charities involved in the effort are Hearts & Hammers, Military Family Lifestyle Charitable Foundation, Purple Heart Homes and Charlotte Bridge Homes, according to the project website555charity.org.

Each of the nonprofit organizations is like-minded, based on the premise of helping needy individuals in the community. A majority of the groups are specifically veteran-minded and have a main goal of caring for the welfare of wounded soldiers and their families.

Since June 20, when work crews poured the first home’s concrete slab, more than 200 volunteers have been helping to construct the Hyde home with equal participation from all five charities.

“It’s a small army,” Bradley said.

In addition to citizen and charity volunteers, corporate volunteers have joined the effort from Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Ingersoll Rand, among other local businesses.

Players with the Charlotte Checkers even donated their time on Monday to assist work crews.

“The outpouring of support from the community has been fantastic so far,” Bradley said.

The home will be completed by Aug. 1.

While ideas for the large-scale initiative commenced late last year, the physical planning process started in March with the clearing of the Denver lots, owned by Hearts & Hammers.

Application guidelines require the veterans have some sort of disability they acquired during combat in Iraq or Afghanistan.

While Bradley said Hyde has no physical impairments from his eight years of military service, he harbors an invisible wound — an extreme form of PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder.

From 2002 to 2010, Hyde served as a rifleman in Operation Enduring Freedom.

Following completion of the Hyde home, volunteers will begin work on a second residence next door and will name the next lucky veteran recipient at the end of the month.

During the approval process, officials will determine if the veteran has a physical disability, and if so, what specific architectural design will be necessary to meet the person’s needs, Bradley said.

Officials with Purple Heart Homes are in charge of interviewing all applicants.

Bradley said the charity effort is designed to help veterans “get back on their feet” and remind them that the community cares for them.

However, the initiative is not mean to be a free handout.

“We don’t just give them a home,” Bradley said.

Organization officials will ensure each veteran has the financial capability to pay a mortgage.

In addition, up to 50 percent of each mortgage will be used to fund construction on the next house, Bradley said.

Workers still need a variety of supplies, particularly paint and concrete, to complete the Hyde home and continue building more.

“Anything that would go into a house,” Bradley said.

He noted another future project will be paving the gravel roadway in front of the homes.

Work crews will be at the Denver site everyday through July 12.

Construction on the second home is scheduled to begin Sept. 2 and will wrap-up by the end of the year.

To volunteer, visit 555charity.org.

“They (veterans) sacrificed so much for us,” Bradley said, “so now it’s our turn.”

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