A once homeless veteran is now on his way to success.
52-year-old Kevin Nelson is a United States Navy veteran. He was stationed in Point Loma, California in the 1970s and early 1980s and served three years in Japan and in several other countries.
“Been to Hong Kong, Thailand, Philippines, you name it,” said Nelson.
He lost everything a few years ago while working in San Diego. He tried odd jobs to stay afloat.
“Home Depot, I would stand out there and wait for somebody to come by to hire me for the day. It wasn’t an every day thing but it got you through; I would donate plasma, just do whatever you got to do. Living in Sand Diego is really expensive.”
While trying to survive he pieced to together an invention that he had been designing since he was in high school. It’s a home speaker system.
In January of 2011 his dying sister asked him to help her. She was living in Tulsa. He came out to Tulsa and worked with the VA to survive.
“I have been building speakers since high school. It all got started with my mom, she bought a new organ and I wanted to find out how it was making that noise, so I tore it apart.”
He has a patented and well reviewed system called Zealth Audio. He has been published in technology driven magazines and online has shown top competitors his speakers.
“The speakers are great. I had them up at the CES Show, they have been up against some of the biggest companies in the world.”
The Tulsa Veterans Affairs Department’s VASH program, Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing, has found Nelson an apartment.
Now, he needs a way to build his systems so he can sell them. His goal does not stop with the speakers. He wants to help other homeless veterans get off the streets by hiring them to help build the speakers and then house them until they can find their own homes.
“There are a lot of veterans who are on the street and waiting to get into VA programs. They’re broke. I’d like a shop where I can bring the vets in, and have them work a few hours a day, then get some kind of a hose, where I could house a few of them, while they wait to get into these programs.
He has run into problems because he has been homeless.
“I have had a few people say you’d probably be better off if you’d keep your mouth shut about being homeless, but I say guess what, I don’t want you on the team. I wouldn’t want you to be a part of the speakers at all. You could be next. Look at the fires we just had, there are a lot of people sleeping in tents.”
“My big thing was to get off the streets, get calmed down and then work on it again, so I am just now getting started and making noise again.”
If you want to email Kevin Nelson, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.