Tent Hut was founded by Jose Pila and Pedro de Leon in 2017 in Los Angeles, having identified the need for more housing units for veterans and the urgency to get to work on filling that gap. Tent Hut is proposing to take on the challenging task of finding and building homes for our homeless veterans in one of the most difficult housing markets in the United States; Los Angeles, CA.
Their housing-first approach of providing supportive services with permanent housing is proven to help veterans obtain and retain housing after experiencing homelessness.
The mission of Tent Hut is to Restructure , Rebuild, and Reinforce by keeping veterans moving in a positive direction through the building of the strong foundation that comes from placing homeless veterans in a home.
Tent Hut have made it their mission to REBUILD a veteran’s sense of purpose and mission driven attitude. They aim to RESTRUCTURE the warrior mind to better adapt to different environments. They see it as important to them to REINFORCE their military core values with every veteran that crosses their path.
Pedro de Leon Jr served twelve years (six years active and six years reserves) in the United States Army, and has experience in health and fitness, training soldiers in the US Army reserve unit and the financial industry. He has first-hand experience of almost being homeless on several occasions.
Pedro is passionate about reaching out to the “Veteran Drifters”, finding new resources and housing to help them, and ultimately building a community of new leaders who can continue to give back.
Jose M Pila is an experienced
strategist with an extensive background in security, student services, finance,
and veteran issues.
Jose served in United States Army 82nd Airborne Division and in 2009, Jose dropped his rifle and hit the books with the help of his G.I. Bill. He was recruited to work for Constellis Group, a government contracting company that provides paramilitary security forces to the Middle East. He also worked for various non-profits in the homeless veteran sector. As a former combat soldier, he overcame struggles and low points during his own transition. Jose deeply understands the unique challenges that veterans face as they try to regain their sense of purpose and focus after transitioning out of the military. Jose believes that Tent-Hut’s proactive approach to veteran issues will prevent many of the subsequent barriers that veterans face in their post-military life
What happens when soldiers, sailors, pilots and marines transition out of the military? It’s not something many of us give a lot of thought to but my discussion with Jose and Pedro from Tent Hut sheds light on their plight. Many veterans face a life of uncertainty after leaving the military with homelessness, PTSD, substance abuse and mental health issues common. Not to mention the alarming rate of suicide amongst military vets. Asking for and finding help can be difficult and many veterans are simply unprepared for civilian life, encountering issues around finances, relationships, health and structure. Fortunately what Jose and Pedro have created gives hope to veterans going through this difficult period which enables them to gradually taper away the structures of military life and re-integrate into civilian life successfully. Their starting point is housing after which a full support program is put to work in all other areas of a veteran’s life to enable a successful transition back into civilian life.
In my interview with the guys we discuss the challenges veterans face, what help Tent Hut can offer, and why you should get in touch with them today if you, or a friend, or relative is leaving the military.
In this interview Jose, Pedro and I discuss:
- Why Tent Hut was started and the need for a better and stronger transitioning from the military
- How veterans don’t know what to do with the 24 hours in the day after coming out of the military.
- How Tent Hut looks to re-integrate with the structure from the military, taper it off and re-integrate vets into civilian life.
- Why education and training can be a difficulty as it keeps vets from transitioning properly by becoming veteran drifters with a housing allowance
- Mission driven attitude to get to next step (and how Tent Hut use this).
- How the military paying for everything ill equips veterans for dealing with finances and money management skills in the long term.
- How vets typically go into the military at a very young age often receiving tax free cash, and how many servicemen with no financial literacy blow through 15-20k in less than a month after leaving with no accountability and financial literacy.
- Tent Hut helps veterans in how to manage money better.
- How Tent Hut covers housing first and then works on the other issues that vets face, like finances, employment and mental health issues.
- The issue around homeless and why the authorities don’t class somebody as having a roof over their heads as homeless.
- How TentHut tries to catch veterans with the transitional mind-set early, with the goal being to help them succeed. Preventative rather than when it is a problem.
- How TentHut show veterans that they have value outside the military, unfortunately many go into school or substance abuse.
- Why the 1 week transition course out of the military isn’t working for reintegration into civilian life.
- What Housing Vouchers are and why they are so problematic for veterans finding housing – more importantly how TentHut can help with this.
- How TentHut also offers support services to Women veterans along with the LGBT community, whose needs are very specific.
- How everyone’s experience of trauma is different and relative to individuals experience, not just for people seeing front line combat.
- The fight or flight response that causes so many problems for veterans after transitioning from the military.
- The challenge of eating and exercising correctly for veterans when it is an aspect of military life that is very much taken care of during military life. How veterans can regain accountability.
- Tent Hut offers support in the physical aspect of transitioning.
- Why community is essential in rebuilding, restructuring and reinforcing and working with others rather than trying to do it by yourself.
- Tent Hut has connections with other organisations to help veterans transition
How you can link up with Jose, Pedro and the TentHut community