This Air Force veteran was taught that he should never leave a man behind – and that is exactly the creed behind his new tiny house project.
Donnie Davis is creating a micro-housing community in Franklinville, New Jersey that will provide shelter, counseling, and therapy animals to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder – and it will all be provided free of charge.
An Afghanistan War veteran himself, Davis first got the idea for the Operation Safe Haven project when he got a call about an abandoned 277-acre campground that was going up for sale in Franklinville. Since Davis is also a pastor, the caller asked whether he would want to build a church on the property.
Instead, Davis launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a tiny house community that would nurture vets with PTSD back to health.
In 14 months, Davis has raised over $200,000 of his $500,000 goal.
Davis has already moved onto the property so he can dedicate all his time to the initiative. A team of volunteers and veterans alike are currently working on building the facilities and recruiting potential residents. In return for housing within the community, residents will help care for the animals, grounds, and gardens.
The facilities will also be carbon neutral and environmentally-friendly thanks to solar panels installed on the roofs.
Since Davis started working on the project, the veteran has found that the calming outdoor atmosphere of the campground has helped treat his own PTSD. After being in the Air Force for five years in the 90s, he worked for five years as a Maryland police officer. But now, surrounded by nature and peace, Davis feels the anxiety of his past ebbing away – and he now wants to help other veterans who are just like him in a meaningful way.