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The Chicago veteran hopes to provide housing for other vets if he’s lucky

CHICAGO — A local Army veteran who fell on hard times but bounced back is paying it forward to other vets dealing with life’s challenges.

After being discharged from the army, Albert Alexander, a husband and father of four, experienced a season of homelessness and unemployment. Now that he’s back on his feet, Alexander is helping out with his nonprofit, A Special Place for Veterans.

Alexander joined the army in 1996, resigned in 2008 due to ill health.

“That’s when I started thinking about how people or veterans and their family members can live outside of the military,” he said. “Serve the way they want, not the way they have to serve to make ends meet.”

Alexander and his nonprofit hope to create a community for veterans and their families to live in when service members return home.

“It’s like a benefit like the GI bill, the VA,” Alexander said. “It’s just for you.

His goal is to fill the large building at the corner of Spaulding and Franklin streets in Humboldt Park with a family business. Alexander also hopes for activities such as mini-golf, cinema screens, robotics and cyber security training. He said that all the money received will go to the veterans.

“We just need the funds, and that’s why we need fundraising or strategic partners that can help us do what we do,” he said.

Alexander started a campaign to collect money.

“We’re calling it One and a Million, so if you’re one of the million people who pay $7 a month, it can help us do what we need to do on a more permanent basis,” he said.

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