(WHTM) — The UPMC Pinnacle Foundation donated $500,000 to the Veterans Outreach of Pennsylvania, one of the largest gifts to date, as part of the plan to build a series of tiny homes for veterans.

The donation puts the group at 91% of its financial goal.

“We want to give back to the community and there’s no better group of people than our veterans who are willing to sacrifice their life for our freedom,” said Tom Zimmerman, co-founder of Veterans Outreach of PA.

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The tiny homes project is a 6,500-square-foot community center with 15 tiny homes for veterans who would otherwise be homeless. Veterans who live in the community will have access to free health services, job training, food, and other forms of help to keep them on their feet in the long term.

“Coming back from serving the country makes it a little bit of a difficult transition for some veterans, and here in this region, we have a number of veterans that are homeless. A project like this gives them a place to restart, lift them up, and make sure they’re cared for,” said Lou Baverso, President of UPMC, central Pennsylvania region.

An estimated 30 veterans are homeless in the Harrisburg region on any given night, and with the completion of this project, that number can change.

“One veteran homeless is already too many. We’re moving in the right direction. We’re going to be that organization that’s going to help those veterans who have not succeeded in the infrastructure that’s out there already.” said, Zimmerman.

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With the fundraising effort nearing its goal, the group expects to break ground at the five-acre field behind PennDOT’s riverfront office center as soon as Spring 2023.