PHILADELPHIA (FOX 29) - If experience is truly the best teacher, than Shawn Wilson's personal experience made him realize that he had to do something to help people like him.
Wilson is an Army veteran and a former police and corrections officer who is trying to advocate for others of a similar background. He wanted to make his peers aware of the help that is available to them, so he created a service called "Vet's in the Hood."
"Vets in the Hood is a non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of military veterans," said Wilson.
The goal of "Vets in the Hood" is to connect first responders to helpful resources such as housing, job training and musical therapy.
Wilson and his partners use word of mouth to spread the word about their service. They are also developing an app called "Hello, veterans" to further facilitate communication.
"The person down the street 3 blocks from you may be able to drop off a warm meal to you but the connection is not there. That's what we want to do with hello veterans," said Bentley Charlamagne.
Former Navy seaman, Douglas Batts, is living proof that Wilson's service works. Batts found himself in dire straits after his military service.
"I lost my job, I lost my apartment, so I became homeless and started sleeping in my vehicle," said Batts.
"Vets in the Hood" found Batts and offered immediate assistance to help him get back on his feet.
"[Wilson] showed me how to get proper healthcare, how to put in a claim for mental and physical issues that I have. It seem like out of nowhere a whirlwind of good came," said Batts.
"Vets in the Hood" admittedly can not solve all the issues facing veterans, but they will do their part and hope that others will come to appreciate first responders after their service has ended.