Kansas City, Mo., has decided that tiny homes can accomplish great things among the homeless veteran community. The Kansas City Star reports that Kevin Jamison, Chris Stout and Mark Solomon, all either former military or military reserve, have joined together to create a non-profit organization called Veterans Community Project (VCP). The goal of the project is to help homeless veterans obtain permanent housing by providing temporary housing in tiny homes for as long as they need.
According to Veterans Inc., veterans make up 26% of the homeless population in the United States. One of the main causes cited is the lack of income due to the fact that military personnel is trained for highly specific jobs and that training does not easily cross over into civilian life. Finding jobs that fit the skills veterans have can be very difficult. Health related issues, both mental and physical, also come into play along with the challenges of adjusting back into civilian life.
In order to address the homelessness among veterans, VCP has decided that fellow veterans need to look out for their own. KCTV5 reports that VCP purchased four acres of land, with the help of city officials, for just $500. Its goal is to build a tiny community for veterans that consists of 52 tiny houses; a community center with a kitchen, laundry facilities, yoga center, and space for classes; and a garden. Each tiny home will have a bathroom with a shower, a stove and refrigerator, a bed, a sink, and a flat-screen TV. The key to what is being called Veterans Village is that each home will be for a single residence, and the community, as Jamison stated in his Kansas City Star interview, will allow the veterans to "take the world at their own pace."
The first of the 52 homes was opened on May 2, 2016, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The tiny home is 240 square feet. The surrounding community is supporting the effort of the VCP; the UAW Local 249 will be outfitting each home with dishes, linens and toiletries. Each home costs approximately $10,000, and fundraising is going on to provide the necessary money for the project. Each branch of the service has been challenged to raise the money to build a home of its own on the land, and donations can be given for these homes at the VCP site. With tiny houses in the works, the homeless veterans of Kansas City won't be homeless much longer.