Most of us will never understand the feeling of utter dehumanization that can come with returning from war , being unable to seamlessly mesh back into society, struggling with various mental disorders and lack of support and for many, both of these two factors resulting in homelessness.
The last worry veterans should have is where they’re going to sleep at night once they return, but for the nearly 40,000 homeless veterans that find themselves on the street each night, this worry is a disturbing reality. But dropping struggling veterans into thriving, pre-existing neighborhoods and communities with residents that haven’t experienced what it’s like to serve can be quite counterproductive and detrimental — A slow, smooth transition is necessary for lasting success and change, much like any major life transition.
In Kansas City, Missouri, combat veterans have formed a new model for housing homeless veterans in a community called Veterans Village.
Having previously worked with homeless veterans, the idea was born out of first-hand experience — A tiny home model seems to fit the bill perfectly for the project.
The Veterans Community Project created Veterans Village, which sits on four acres of land outside of Kansas City and consists of 50 tiny homes, complete with bathrooms, kitchens, sleeping, and living areas. Veterans Village also features an onsite community center that will offer the Veterans “mentoring, case management, counseling, and linkage to other programs and services.” Further, the organization explains that veterans can customize many aspects of the tiny houses to increase their sense of pride and ownership. After all, it’s the little details of your living space that turn a house into a true home — adding personal touches makes a space more comfortable and welcoming. The same holds true for your own house!
Veterans Village is the first of its kind in the country, and the VCP hopes to use the Kansas City model as a jump off to create sustainable and stable countries around the world. Remarkably, each prefabricated home cost only $10,000—a pittance compared to the costs of prolonged hospitalization and/or temporary housing for homeless citizens.
As a non-profit organization, the VCP needs donations in order to continue production of tiny homes. If you’d like to donate or get involved in the cause, visit here.