Denver Air Force veteran inspired to help others after experiencing homelessness – CBS Denver
DENVER, (CBS4)- On Sunday afternoon, Andrew Canales’ Homeless Awareness Team was in downtown Denver distributing hot weather essentials to homeless people.
He is the CEO of Houses for Warriors, and helping the homeless is part of his organization’s mission. Andrew does it because he knows what it’s like to live on the streets.
“It’s very low. It’s hard,” he said.
He is a 6-year Air Force veteran who has served two combat tours in Iraq. He had an accident and broke both legs. Because of this, he became homeless.
Eventually he got his VA benefits and his situation improved, but it was an experience that affected him deeply. He decided he never wanted another veteran to struggle like he did again.
He founded Houses for Warriors originally to do renovations and renovations for veterans and distribute supplies to the homeless in Denver.
“I’m able to give back and help people out of situations I was in myself,” he said.
Last summer, he opened a halfway house for veterans.
“With the intention of getting veterans off the streets and into trades, into construction jobs and those who are unable to do so, we get them their benefits, help them get a disability and everything what they need to stay stable,” he said. .
He and his team weren’t just handing out clothes and jackets on Sunday, they were also looking for vets who needed a helping hand. The few graduates of his program have benefited enormously.
“They think we’re saving their lives, but we’re just giving them the tools and the opportunity to change theirs,” Andrew said.
He says helping these men and women is his life’s calling.
“I try to be the person I needed the most,” Andrew said.