CHICAGO (CBS) — A program to help formerly homeless veterans with household supplies was nearing its halfway point Tuesday, and the alderman behind the effort said Chicagoans have been coming through.

Two weeks in, Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th) said the city’s “Help A Hero” campaign is looking good.

“My office, in particular, you literally can’t walk through it right now. It’s a maze of piles of donated items for our veterans,” he said.

Donations of toiletries, cleaning supplies, kitchen supplies, and laundry supplies are being accepted at all 50 ward offices in the city, along with 20 Chicago Park District locations.

“Buy an extra tube of toothpaste. Buy an extra couple rolls of toilet paper. Pick up a mop, some laundry detergent, and help a veteran,” he said.

O’Shea said there were 3,000 homeless veterans living in Chicago two years ago, and that number is down to about 800.

“When a veteran leaves a shelter, leaves transitional housing to a permanent residence, more often than not they don’t even have the basic items that we take for granted,” he said.

The alderman said he was informed by Military Outreach USA that Chicago is the first city in the nation to do this kind of thing, “which on one hand is impressive to say. On the other hand it’s rather pathetic. This is another step in righting a wrong, and that is looking after those who fought for freedom.”