Non-profit plans to fix up homes in Albert Lea for veterans

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(ABC 6 News) – A non-profit is coming to Albert Lea gives homes to Veterans.

The Chapman House foundation will start renovating its first house in March with plans to do more.

While in Minnesota looking for campers to house homeless vets in North Carolina, Kevin Chapman the founder of the Chapman House foundation stopped for gas in Albert Lea and decided to take a drive around town.

“Towing a big 40-foot camper behind me and I realized this could be our starting place for Minnesota,” Chapman said.

Chapman got in contact with city officials and started to work out the details of how they could house homeless veterans in Albert Lea.

“I think that’s very important that he looked at the state of Minnesota and found Albert Lea and decided this is the place he wanted to do this. So, we will work with him on this first project, see how it goes and try to help him out to make this come to fruition,” Albert Lea Mayor Rich Murray said.

According to Veterans Affairs, in 2010 there were nearly 75,000 homeless veterans and in 2020 that number dropped to 37,000.

But Chapman says that’s still too many.

“You see veterans everywhere holding up signs or pushing shopping carts, trying to survive. We as a country, owe it to these veterans,” Chapman said.

Chapman will start his first project in March and can’t wait to get veterans in a new home, and all they ask in return is that they make an effort to good in the community.

Mayor Rich Murray is also a veteran, and he’s excited to make Albert Lea a more welcoming place for veterans.

“You know, help them out, making sure they’re taken care of. Whether that’s housing, food insecurities, medical issues, you know all those things. We just have to keep looking out for our veteran population,” Murray explained.

The Chapman House Foundation’s goal is to do multiple housing projects in Albert Lea.

He said the next cities he wants to go to are Rochester, and Mankato, and then eventually make it all the way north to the Canadian border providing homes for homeless vets.

If you want to learn more or help out the Chapman House Foundation’s mission, email Kevin

Western Star Masonic Lodge of Albert Lea will host Kevin and his wife Donna on Saturday for an event open to the public. Kevin will outline the work he’s done and will continue to do to help out homeless veterans. The event starts at 7pm at the Western Star Masonic Lodge, 147 N. Broadway, Albert Lea, MN.