Mission 15:13 is a non-profit organization, which focuses on Fort Smith’s homeless and at-risk Veteran population. The plan is to supply semi-permanent to permanent housing for the homeless and at-risk Veterans in the Fort Smith area, while increasing awareness and involvement in the local communities. “There are a lot of homeless vets..vets should be the last to be homeless.” Americas forgotten heroes ran into combat devoting their lives to assure the safety of ours; which is why Mission 15:13 is committed to bettering the lives to our nation’s finest men and women. Over 1.4 million veterans are considered at-risk of homelessness due to poverty, lack of support networks, and overcrowded substantial housing. Like the general homeless population, veterans risk of homelessness are increased remarkably if they have no support system, a mental health disorder, or a history of substance abuse. But because of veterans’ military service, they are at a higher risk of experiencing brain injuries and the lingering effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), both of which have been found to be among the most substantial risk factors for homelessness. Additionally, military occupations and training are not always transferable to the civilian workforce, placing some veterans at a disadvantage when competing for employment. Mission 15:13’s top priority for homeless veterans is to build secure, safe, and clean housing that offers a supportive environment free of drugs and alcohol. The objective is to provide peer support and a family oriented model that will allow the veterans to maintain a home with their families in a gated community.
Ryan Millican founded the organization in 2016 after noticing the recent rise in homeless vets and those who are endanger to becoming homeless. Ryan joined the Arkansas Army National Guard in 2003 and has been a member of the Arkansas Army National Guard for over 12 years now. He has served on one State-Side Deployment for Operation Katrina-Rita, in New Orleans, LA, in 2005, and has been deployed once to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, 2006. His is now a 1st Lieutenant and serves as a Maintenance Platoon Leader for the 936th Support Company, 1st Battalion, 142nd Field Artillery Brigade. With his experience in a leadership position, he has established a sense of brotherhood and a desire to help his fellow brothers in a time of need. Which is why Mission 15:13’s name was inspired by John 15:13,
“Greater Love Hath No Man, Than To Lay Down His Life For Friend.”