A non-profit has helped create a village of tiny homes for veterans in need.
- Posted on May 23, 2017
When Kansas City veterans Chris Stout, Kevin Jamison and Mark Solomon returned home from their military service, they were frustrated by the way their fellow veterans were being treated. After hearing stories of veterans living on the streets and not being able to qualify for benefits or housing after their tours of duty were done, they founded the non-profit organization Veterans Community Project (VCP) to help make a difference.
VCP is made up of veterans in Kansas City from all branches of the military who banded together to fight some disheartening statistics. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), on any given night, over 39,000 veterans are homeless. Another 1.4 million veterans are at risk for homelessness due to poverty, lack of support, and unsatisfactory living conditions in substandard housing. VCP started the Veterans Village to house homeless soldiers in the Kansas City area.
The village is a collection of 50 tiny homes – about the size of a studio apartment – on a four acre plot of land in south Kansas City. Each home comes fully furnished and occupants are provided with food and necessities during their stay. The group is even building a community centre near the village that provides residents with access to mentoring, case management, counseling, and other programs. The idea of the program, according to the VCP, is to "get the veteran up and reintegrating them into society at their own pace while treating the issues that have created social or housing barriers."
The group hopes that their model can be integrated into other programs for at-risk veterans across the country and that their tiny village gives homeless vets in the area stability, community, and, most importantly, a sense of hope for the future.