Tucson business owner steps up for homeless veterans - Tucson News Now

Tucson business owner steps up for homeless veterans

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A Tucson man is making it possible for one of the largest homeless camps for veterans in southern Arizona to keep its doors open.

Just last week, the Alpha Base Camp for the homeless in Phoenix was forced to shut down because they did not have permission to camp on ADOT property under an interstate overpass.

Ian Ornstein, owner of HMS Fasteners in Tucson, says he spends thousands of dollars each month to keep the Bravo Base Camp afloat, and provide running water and utilities.

Ornstein has also donated part of his land to the camp, so they don't have to worry whether or not they can be there.

Now he’s hoping to inspire other business owners to do the same.

“It’s really a God send. HMS really does a lot for us,” James Harrison said.

Harrison, a veteran of the Marine Corps, is homeless, but he said he doesn’t feel like he is because of Camp Bravo and his access to warm showers and electricity every day.

“Giving them the two acres of land there has helped over 250 people back into civilization and that’s huge,” Ornstein said.

Two years ago, Ornstein first noticed a problem with homeless congregating at the Santa Rita Park and then coming on to his property.

“They would start just hanging out and bringing trash and everything, then they started using our fence as tents,” Ornstein said.

But instead of getting angry about it, he felt compelled to help the group "Veterans on Patrol.”

That's when they set up the military-style camp on his property.

Ornstein pays the property taxes each month along with providing running water and utilities.

“Unconditional compassion. What his whole family has done is just a testimony of good will towards humanity,” said Alan Argabrite, over-watch commander for Bravo Base.

But Ornstein remains humble about his good deeds.

“I’m sure if we help people – people are going to help us,” Ornstein said.

Bravo Base is not a non-profit, so there are no tax deductions on donations. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Bravo Base Camp, contact Alan Argabrite at alan.h.argabrite@gmail.com.

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