Homeless Camden County veteran surprised with decorated rental home

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Homeless Camden County veteran surprised with decorated rental home: Alicia Vitarelli reports during Action News at 4 p.m. on July 19, 2017. (WPVI)

Hanging the American flag on a pole outside the front door was the finishing touch as a group of strangers arranged an emotional surprise for a disabled veteran who has been homeless, and perhaps hopeless, until now.

Disabled Air Force veteran, Nick Kown, arrived like a celebrity, waving to crowd of people who couldn't be happier to see him - not just home, but in a home.

That's because until now, Nick was homeless.

"In a campsite, he was literally living in a tent in the woods and I didn't want that to continue," said Cindy Reimer, Realtor at Keller Williams in Washington Township, New Jersey.

It was Reimer who first fought to get his rental application approved for this home in Bellmawr.

"He broke my heart, melted my heart, from there I wanted to make sure I could help," she said.

And within 24 hours, they turned his house into a home.

"Cant thank everyone enough. This is awesome - the community like this coming together and helping me out I didn't imagine anything like this," said Nick.

Friends, family and coworkers all pitched in to furnish the house from top to bottom. They stock the medicine cabinets, pantries and the fridge.

"People just out of goodness of hearts - furniture and anything we needed. Somebody gave a band new bicycle and that's going to be golden for him to get around with," said Cindy.

They also gave him gift cards to get groceries, all to thank the Air Force vet who came upon hard times.

"It shows you that America is still great," said Nick with a smile.

There wasn't a dry eye and hugs were contagious - even from his new neighbors.

They were all small gestures of kindness with one big message:

"Look around you - all you have to do is look around you. People need help," said Cindy.

And they even donated school supplies. Nick tells Action News he's heading to Rutgers University in the fall.

He says he's going into social work to help people in his situation get help as well.

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societynew jersey newsrental propertyveteranhomelessfeel goodsurpriseBellmawr
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