AUSTIN (KXAN) — Peggy and Bobby Crutsinger first started the nonprofit Operation Texas Strong Est. 2021 because they were simply tired of seeing veterans living on the streets.
While the couple is not military themselves, they do have family ties.
“We promised (Peggy’s) dad, who is a Vietnam veteran, we would help,” explained Bobby.
The nonprofit depends on RV donations. Once they give a vet an RV, they secure a location — either on private property or an RV park.
“They’ll give discounts,” Peggy said about the RV parks they work with and connect veterans to. “We can get them situated up.”
The couple signs the donated RVs over to the vets. However, they do have legal paperwork that ensures the RV will be used for what it’s meant for, which is helping vets get back on their feet. If not, the nonprofit is able to take the RV back. It’s something they don’t want to do, and they work with the vets so it doesn’t happen.
“In that scenario, we ask that they reach out,” Peggy said. “Maybe they need a boost of ‘Hey, you got this,’ or maybe we can get help to help pay for that month.”
The Crutsingers said they’re able to do this all through social media.
“Thank God for Facebook because that’s the way we work,” Bobby said.
Since officially starting their work last March, the couple has helped 74 people and have only had to take one RV back. Their goal this year is to help 400 veterans.
“We wanted to tell them, ‘Thank you so much for serving our country and giving what we have to this day,'” Bobby said.
If you are interested in helping or donating or know someone in need of help you can reach the couple by phone at (940) 452-6052, online by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on their Facebook page.
Austin’s RV living rules
There are rules surrounding RV living in the City of Austin. The city said people who would like to live in an RV would have to park it in an RV park or in approved “campgrounds” in certain commercial zoning districts. The only time an RV would be allowed in a residential area is for storage and would need to be in an enclosed building or covered from public view by a solid fence at least 6 feet in height.
If someone is caught breaking the city rule, they will be sent a “Notice of Violation” and given a certain amount of time to correct the issue. If they don’t fix the problem, violators could face a fine of up to $2,000.
The Crutsingers said they work with veterans to find an appropriate place for their RV. So far, 60 RVs have been put on private property and 14 have gone to RV parks.