These veterans stepped up to help fellow veterans living on the streets.
When veterans Chris Stout, Kevin Jamison, Mark Solomon and other concerned citizens realized just how many homeless veterans existed in their community, they decided to form a nonprofit group to combat the problem and help where they can.
The group, called the Veterans Community Project, aims to make a difference in the lives of veterans suffering on the streets by engaging in a project “by community for community.” Their mission is to complete a Veterans Village filled with 50 tiny homes built by fellow veterans to house those living on the streets.
“We identified too many veterans suffering from PTSD and addictions who were going untreated and not doing well in traditional shelters,” Chris Stout, president of Veterans Community Project, said in a news release. “We decided as vets that we had to do something to help.”
With a 4-acre plot of land in Kansas City, Missouri, the organization broke ground last year by building their first few tiny homes that are fully furnished. It’s estimated that each house costs $10,000 to build and furnish 240 square foot homes, which is extremely low for a housing project but also pricey when the group relies on donations and volunteers. The process is ongoing, but the group hopes to have veterans moving in around late 2017. Co-founder Kevin Jamison told Fox4 KC,
“These are my brothers and sisters out there on the streets. We didn’t want to see any veteran suffering. We want to give them something they can stay in, call it their own and then socialize and re-integrate at their own pace.”
The tiny house movement has been taking off in recent years and this isn’t the first attempt at using tiny homes to end homelessness. While some cities push back by essentially banning tiny houses, others have embraced the way these unorthodox living arrangements can help take people off the streets and get them started with rehabilitation. While veterans make up a major part of the homeless community, so do people with mental illnesses and problems with addiction. By using the ‘housing first’ method and putting homeless people in homes before getting help for them, cities are effectively addressing the major problem of homelessness: a lack of shelter for human beings.
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