Three years ago, two veterans decided to join forces in an effort to raise money and food for homeless veterans in the Savannah area during the holiday season.
At the time, Michael Baker and Billie Null were bartenders at The Wormhole in Savannah’s Starland District.
“There was always homeless people hanging out by the bar,” Baker said. “Around this time of year, we wanted to give back, specifically [to] homeless veterans. I hate seeing people come back from serving their country and not have anywhere to live. So we came up with the idea.”
A yearly benefit concert, Rockin’ For Vets, was formed. Last year, they raised over $2,000 for the Tiny House Project for Homeless Veterans in Savannah, as well as a pallet of food.
For the concert’s third iteration, they’ve moved the location to The Rail Pub on Congress Street, where Baker now tends bar. This year’s benefit show will feature four Savannah bands, with the possibility of a fifth. XuluProphet, Perpetual Care, The Mercers and Ember City will rock the Rail from 3-9 p.m. Dec. 8.
“We decided to move it to the Rail,” Baker said. “I thought we’d get more exposure there.”
There are more than 4,000 homeless people in the Savannah area, as estimated by the Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless. The Tiny House Project is currently underway. The Cove on Dundee off Wheaton Street is set to house two dozen homeless veterans by year’s end, according to the Savannah Morning News.
The CSAH reported serving 231 homeless veterans last year. The 72-unit Tiny House Project is set on a 3 1/2-acre tract that will provide fully functional tiny homes for the vets. In June of this year, as reported by the Savannah Morning News, $600,000 of the needed $1.7 million had been raised.
Baker and Null are shooting to raise $5,000 this year. All of the money from the $5 cover fee will go the Tiny House Project. Attendees can also bring canned food. Proceeds from a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle will go to the Tiny House Project as well. Prizes include gift cards to local businesses and swag from local bars.