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Organization that serves veterans asking for community involvement

HOPE Institute (Credit: CBS4/KFOX14)

An Army veteran who started the first home for homeless female veterans in El Paso is calling on the community for help.

Hope Jackson retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel after 20 years of service. She spent some of those years at Fort Bliss.

Jackson said her heart for serving others took over.

“I had to stay and decide if I was going to follow the dream of Hope Jackson because I was getting ready to go to Afghanistan or if I was going to retire and do what God called me to do,” Jackson said.

Jackson decided to start the H.O.P.E. Institute, a nonprofit home and program that serves homeless female veterans.

“I believe, for the healing process to even start, these women have to be in an environment where they feel safe,” Jackson said. “These women are living in cars. They’re couch surfing.”

Jackson estimates that, in El Paso County, there are about 250 homeless female veterans who do not have many resources available to them.

“They’ve kind of trickled in one by one,” she said. “(Women) don’t always self-identify as homeless.”

After a four-year renovation project, Jackson turned a home in northeast El Paso into the center of the H.O.P.E. Institute. Jackson said keeping the doors open costs more than $10,000 a month.

She donates all the money from her real estate brokerage company to the nonprofit.

“One hundred percent of my net profit comes to running this,” she said.

Now, Jackson is calling on the community to get involved in the H.O.P.E. Institute.

“I cannot do this alone. There have been people to come forward, but it takes a village,” she said. “We need everybody working together towards a common goal, with that goal being taking care of those who have given so much.”

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