A non-profit organization based in Kansas City, Missouri, has great aspirations to solve veteran homelessness, and it all began with very tiny homes.
“Our goal is to end Veteran homelessness, and the tiny houses provide the stability and the starting point Veterans need to address the underlying causes of homelessness”, said the Veterans Community Project’s (VCP) website.
Veterans account for 23% of the homeless population according to the National Coalition for the Homeless.
The Veterans Community Project was founded by veterans with the goal of “serve those who served us.”
“Veterans Community Project (VCP) is dedicated to supporting every man and woman who took the oath for our country,” is the organization’s core mission.
One of their goals is to offer veterans protection and security in a tiny home village.
A tiny home with a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and study area was given to veterans who participated in the project. The concept is around offering temporary housing to veterans who require assistance in regaining control of their lives according to Spotlight.
Each small home including all utilities at no cost to the resident is between 240 and 320 square feet in size.
“There are two tiny house models; single and family houses. The single occupancy Tiny House is 240 sq. ft. The family house is 360 sq. ft. and can sleep up to 7 individuals”, VCP’s website states.
Veterans are free to have pets. If they move out, they can take all of the appliances and furniture with them. Once a veteran leaves, VCP re-furnishes the little home to make it comfortable for another vet in need.
Volunteers built 70 percent of the small home neighborhood, according to VCP. The true success of VCP’s purpose is its sense of community. The phrase “it takes a village” has never been more accurate.
The purpose of VCP is to provide more than just a free place to settle. “This is really an opportunity for you to take a deep breath, exhale, and learn how to dream again”, said the Director of Veterans Services for VCP Wes Williams.
Stylish, energy-efficient appliances were equipped for all tiny houses. The veterinarians can enjoy smart, worry-free utility maintenance thanks to the electric stove and tankless water heater, among other advantages.
To aid veterans suffering from PTSD, the dwellings only have windows on one side of the house.
“The houses are built with past trauma at the forefront of the design process. VCP is intentional about building communities that are mindful of homeless and military post-traumatic stress”, stated VCP’s website.
VCP has made a conscious effort to distinguish from the traditional social service paradigm though it will be there for every veteran it supports. The organization aspires to be community-centric rather than all-encompassing.
“Veterans receive case management through VCP a minimum of once a week depending on need. In order to connect the community to the Veteran and the Veteran to the community we partner with local companies, agencies, nonprofits, and individuals to provide the wraparound support needed to address each individual situation. This keeps the Veteran from relying on VCP while showing them that they are capable and that the community cares”, said VCP.