The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that 39,471 veterans are homeless in our country.

The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans says that 1.4 million other veterans are on the verge of becoming homeless, but a local group in Macon is looking to decrease those odds.

HomePort Macon is turning old hotel rooms into apartments for homeless vets.

Program director George Brown is a retired veteran that started this project about a year ago after a veteran friend of his killed himself.

That sparked Brown to look into the devastating effects homelessness has on veterans and he decided to do something.

"We have not taken very good care of our veterans and so rather than wait for a federal grant or state or city assistance, we reached into our own pockets and we started renovating this property so that homeless veterans and homeless veterans with families can have a place to live," Brown said.

HomePort Macon's goal is to renovate the Villager Lodge Hotel into a transitional veteran hotel, providing service to homeless veterans and ones with families in need of a home with healthcare, and/or social services.

Brown says this is the first out of four phases to be completed at the hotel. Brown says they're receiving funding from the community and local military groups but they still need help.

To donate, visit their website here.