Camp Alpha: Donations pour in for homeless veterans in Phoenix

- Earlier this week, we aired a story about a camp in north Phoenix that's helping out homeless veterans and the response has been overwhelming.  

Christmas came a little early for the people staying at Camp Alpha. It's home to half a dozen vets and about a dozen homeless people.

On Friday, thanks to the generosity of strangers, a truckload of donations were dropped off, including a brand new 40-inch television, which was installed into a weather-proof cabinet.

It was a familiar sight and sound to the war veterans here as a 5-ton Army truck pulled up to the camp to deliver the donated supplies.

"They can sit and watch the news, a TV program.. give them a semblance of humanity and more of that homey feel," said Ruben Senatore of Project Alpha Base.

It looks and feels like a makeshift base -- a safety net to help keep vets and homeless people from falling through the cracks.

"We were sleeping on the side of a canal," said Eric Spraague, a homeless veteran who served in Iraq and now staying at Camp Alpha.  He says it's given him more than just a safe place to sleep. It's given him hope and worth.

"It's not being left behind. It's not being invisible. A million people around you and not being invisible means a lot," he said.

Vets ranging from their early 20s to mid-80s live and work at this corner at 16th Avenue and Hatcher.

"We've got from Korean War all the way up to second Iraq conflict," said Senatore.

And just like they did when they served, here they work diligently side by side, storing, setting up and distributing donations among them, looking out for each other.  Their mission is to get back on their feet.

"I can't say how grateful I am. I can't express how much this means to me. These guys are my brothers. I just love 'em," said Spraague.

The camp has been up and operating for the past month and a half. They don't turn anyone away and everything you see has been donated and they continue to accept donations.


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