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Community Highlights: Meet Jose Pila of Tent Hut

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jose Pila.

Hi Jose, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
After getting out of the military and having a really hard time transitioning into civilian life I found several organizations that had the means to help veterans like myself get some of the support needed to sustain. One organization in particular, Pets for Vets, gave me the opportunity to be part of their program and was awarded a service dog which I named Ranger. I talk about this, because I believe it was a major turning point in my life where I knew I wanted to create something that would help my fellow veterans. My best friend Pedro, Ranger and I started a non-profit organization called Tent Hut where we are seeking to provide up-to-date supportive service information and real life stories of veterans that are helping each other. Tent Hut’s ultimate mission and future plan is to provide a housing community where service members can go to and receive the proper transitional training they need. I have been homeless, gone to rehab, and continue to battle with my PTSD, but I am grateful for my family and my community of friends that keep pushing me forward. I now have a great government job and will soon start my Ph.D. program in Organizational Behavior.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Some of the earlier challenges that we have faced has been opening up about our story. It has been very difficult to stand in front of a large audience and start a conversation with “I use to sleep on the streets and by the way I also served this country” The other struggle, which I am sure is the same for many, was the Covid-19 pandemic. Do to the pandemic we were forced to shift our focus to a more social media platform company which lead us to start a podcast called “Tent Hut w/ a side of Whiskey”. In Feb. of 2020 we lost all of our investors because of the pandemic uncertainty which made us shift fire a little.

As you know, we’re big fans of Tent Hut. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Do to the pandemic we were forced to shift our focus to a more social media platform company which lead us to start a podcast called “Tent Hut w/ a side of Whiskey”. I also, currently work in psychiatric research for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
We are most proud of trademarking our logo and submitting our 501c3 to continue our non-profit status.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
We see our company shifting into the supportive housing industry and also want to film a documentary.

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