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CHICAGO — A local Army veteran whose fallen on hard times, but rebounded, is paying it forward to other vets dealing with life’s challenges.

After leaving the Army, Albert Alexander, a husband and father of four, experienced seasons of homelessness and unemployment. Now that he’s back on his feet, Alexander is helping out with his non-profit “A Special Place for Veterans.”

Alexander joined the Army in 1996 and was medically discharged in 2008.

“That’s when I started thinking about how people or veterans and their family members can live outside the military,” he said. “Serving the way they want to serve instead of how they have to serve just to make ends meet.”

Alexander and his non-profit hope to develop a community for veterans and their families to live in once service members come home.

“It’s like a benefit like the GI bill, the VA,” Alexander said. “It’s just there for you.”

His goal is to fill a large building at the corner of Spaulding and Franklin in Humboldt Park with family friendly businesses. Alexander also hopes for activities like mini golf, movie theater screens, robotics and cyber security training. He said the money generated would all go back to veterans.

“We just need the funds and that’s why we need fundraising or strategic partners that can help us do what we’re doing,” he said.

Alexander has started a campaign to help raise the money.

“We call it ‘One and a Million,’ so if you are one of those million people to commit to $7 a month, that can help us do what we need to do on more of a permanent basis,” he said.

To donate, click here.