Coffins Bug Run Ride will benefit homeless vets

By ED HOWELL
Posted 8/17/17

Daily Mountain Eagle

The Homeless Veterans Initiative of Alabama is hosting an Iron Coffins Bug Run Ride on Saturday, when more plans for a transitional living facility for homeless veterans will be announced.

According to organizers, the …

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Coffins Bug Run Ride will benefit homeless vets

Posted

Daily Mountain Eagle

The Homeless Veterans Initiative of Alabama is hosting an Iron Coffins Bug Run Ride on Saturday, when more plans for a transitional living facility for homeless veterans will be announced.

According to organizers, the event will feature live music, food and drinks, a “50/50” raffle, door prizes, an auction and a Bug Run Grand Prize.

The bike ride will start ICMC Walker Clubhouse at Curry, and will make stops in Jasper at Jars 64 Bar, Warehouse 319 and the Midnight Special. It will move on to the Sayre Bar and Grille in Sayre and come back to the starting point in Curry.

The cost for each bike is $15 and each additional rider will be $5. Registration will be at 4 p.m. and kickstands will be up at 6 p.m.

Proceeds will benefit the Homeless Veterans Initiative of Alabama, which will use the event to announce more plans for a transitional program, as well as a business partner who is offering assistance.

Michael Patrick Johnson, the president and founder of Homeless, said, “We are proud to announce that we will be partnering with a local business in the area to provide a fully inclusive veterans transitional living program for homeless veterans. This is not giving away tiny houses. This is a therapeutic community for veterans to transition with a full curriculum and goals that have to be met.”

The efforts will also involve the organization having a business office within the next few weeks, according to a posting by the group Saturday on its Facebook page.

“We will also be the first and only veterans transitional therapeutic community for homeless and at-risk veterans,” the posting noted.

The overall process for the plans will take four phases and about a year, but the program will be able to start by temporarily housing about two veterans holding in transition to the Birmingham VA Medical Center Homeless Program.

The facility, which will eventually be able to house up to 45 veterans when fully operational, will also feature a small kennel for a few dogs so that veterans can be reunited with their pet without having to be homeless or give the animal to a rescue facility.

“Simply put, we’ve been there, we’ve lived through veteran homelessness, we have a great grasp and understanding of the issues and we possess an awesome opportunity to lead this community of veterans through an experienced, solutions-based therapeutic approach,” the posting noted. It noted that the program will involve “‘fully rehabilitated, highly functioning, former homeless veterans leading other veterans out of homelessness, utilizing an organic community resource network and solid proven therapeutic practices in a clean environment.”

Anyone wanting more information or to sponsor the event may call 205-522-0397 or 205-300-8406.