A Navy Veteran, entrepreneur, civic leader, advocate, father, and bloom member Antione Hines is a ball of energy, seemingly capable of finding an entire eighth day in the week. While he wears many hats, during the month of September he most prominently champions his veteran’s advocacy and outreach. September is Suicide Awareness and Prevention month and 22 veterans take their lives every day. Antione spent 22 days of September telling everyone he could about his mission with Veteran’s HomeFront.
From push-ups and squats to high-fives and hugs, Antione worked from morning to night traveling around the community urging people to do 22 of something to show a veteran you care. Antione’s main goal is saving lives. His once was saved and he devotes himself to helping others.
After leaving the military in 2009, Antione experienced numerous hardships including divorce, depression, job loss and homelessness. It was a bleak time for him but he enrolled at Old Dominion University to study human services and became connected with a number of non-profits. Antione started to see the hardships he was going through mirrored throughout the veteran’s community. “I love learning and I started researching and volunteering as much as possible. I started going to a job club with the City of Chesapeake public libraries. I was there so much I received Volunteer of the Quarter,” he said. Antione laughs about helping people with their job search but not having a job himself. “I just love helping people, it’s about fulfillment.”
Homeless from 2013-2014 Antione was volunteering with every organization he could. He became an outreach case manager with For Kids but he still noticed a tremendous gap in service to the community and that’s where entrepreneurship came into place. Antione completed a fellowship with national non-profits and realized the need for it in Hampton Roads. In 2016, he brought his personal experience, education and passion together to form Veteran’s HomeFront which creates connections to veteran’s and their families. “Support became the number one thing. We provide homeless intervention training, peer support, suicide prevention and basic needs,” he said. With a crew of 10-15 volunteers, Antione spends every single Saturday providing breakfast, water, toiletries and blessing bags to the unhoused population and veteran’s in need and has been doing so for the past four years.
Antione connected with bloom’s SSP partner BlackBRAND, (the Hampton Roads Black Chamber of Commerce) about 3 years ago wanting to learn more about funding for his non-profit and learning more about the business aspect of it. BlackBRAND became a consultancy opportunity for Antione where he could train other non-profits. “This is the beauty of entrepreneurship. The business is me and for life that I can pass on to my daughter,” he said.
Through BlackBRAND, Antione learned about bloom’s Startup Stability Program and he now operates his many non-profits from his bloom office. “I’ve learned how to incorporate an S-corp, invest equity in other businesses, and reap the benefits of a coworking environment. It’s the connections, the ability to know there’s someone else in the same boat and that you can collaborate and support each other,” said Antione.
Antione can often be seen wearing a shirt that says “Superheroes come in many forms.” The bloom staff and members joined Antione in his 22-day mission with 22 daily push-ups in the lobby. “Reach out, text someone, call someone. Not only did it save my life, but it saves other’s lives. Just let someone know you care,” he said.
Antione is a prime example of a community superhero and we are honored to have him at bloom.
June 22, 2021
May 1, 2021 In a year fraught with health concerns, political and social unrest, shuttered venues and...
September 28, 2021
Gregory Holland always knew he wanted to be his own boss. At eight years old he pictured...
September 29, 2021
Setting out with faith and passion, Cindy pivoted to pursue her dream of entrepreneurship. Holding on to...