The Veterans Community Project in Kansas City started by Kevin Jamison, Mark Solomon and Chris Stout in 2016 took big steps to improve the lives of America’s war heroes. Thanks to generous donations from community members, they’ve built the Veterans Village, a collection of tiny houses that homeless veterans can live in for free. Since then, the organization has built 49 tiny homes in Kansas City alone, though it also has operations in other cities across the U.S.
A band of three former veterans started the Veterans Community Project after buying a $500 plot of land from the City Land Bank, according to KCUR. The radio station reports that there are now at least three other cities — St. Louis, Colorado and Nashville — that have made it a point to take care of homeless veterans as part of the Veterans Community Project, showing them the respect that they deserve after they have sacrificed their lives for the country. And according to People, hundreds of other cities have asked the organization to help establish similar housing projects in their communities.
Those who are involved with the Veterans Community Project are donating their time and many of the materials that are needed to build the homes. They want to make sure veterans know that communities care. According to People, the non-profit is funded entirely on donations, which allows the organization not only to furnish housing but also to offer the community free dental and pet care.
Tiny homes are built in areas in the cities that are participating so that veterans have the housing they need while they recover from injuries and mental issues that they might have because of being on active duty so that they can live out the rest of their lives in peace.
At the Kansas City site, each tiny home comes with an assortment of new appliances, kitchen supplies, bed supplies and a stocked fridge, according to People. Each tiny home has the same overall design structure. They are different colors so that the veterans have a sense of having their own home instead of living in a community where each house looks exactly the same.
“It really replicates base housing,” former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander told People after touring the facility. “It recreates the environment a lot of folks were in when they were really stable. It’s a great transitional environment.”
Kander added that the fact that the transitional tiny homes were small was actually a plus for veterans who have problems with PTSD and anxiety since their small size allows residents to do an extra quick perimeter check to feel comfortable. The first dozen tiny homes were completed two years ago, but as of November of 2019, there are 49 tiny homes in the group’s community.
According to the U.S. Department for Housing and Urban Development, around 37,000 veterans were homeless on any given night in January 2019. Moreover, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans describes the typical homeless veteran as a man between the ages of 51 and 61 years old.
What do you think about this amazing project? Have you ever been part of any similar housing projects? We want to hear your stories. Go ahead and pass this along to your friends and family to inspire them to do something for the less fortunate.