Veterans Village enters final construction of tiny homes
By John Sharp
Cover photo by Talal Alaseeri
The final 23 tiny homes for homeless veterans at Veterans Community Project’s Veterans Village are now under construction. A ground breaking ceremony for an on-site community center to serve the veterans was scheduled for May 2.
The 23 tiny homes and the 5,000 square-foot community center on the south side of 89th St. just east of Troost hopefully will be ready for occupancy by October, according to Chris Stout, CEO of the Veterans Community Project, 8900 Troost.
“We could fill up every single one of them today,” Stout said at an April 28 open house at Veterans Village.
He requested continued help from construction companies and unions to provide volunteers to help with the construction, as well as help from other groups and individuals. Boy Scouts were planting trees and shrubs at the Village during the open house.
To volunteer to help with construction or in other ways persons should go online to www.veteranscommunityproject.org and click on Volunteer or call 816-599-6503 or 816-645-4523.
There are already 26 tiny homes at Veterans Village that have been occupied by once homeless area veterans since early 2018. The fully furnished homes with bathroom and kitchen facilities range from 240 to 320 square feet and are built on concrete foundations and connected to electric, sewer and water service. There are four of the larger homes for veterans and their children.
Stout said Veterans Community Project’s goal is for most of the veterans to transition to permanent housing within six to eight months, but veterans can stay as long as 24 months. He said a lot of the veterans currently living at the Village served in Afghanistan or Iraq, but there also are some living there who served in Vietnam.
On-site social services provided by Veterans Community Project and partner agencies at its Outreach Center at 8825 Troost to address the underlying causes of veterans’ homelessness include benefits and disability claims assistance, case management, counseling, independent living classes, job placement, legal services, resume writing workshops and substance abuse treatment. These services will be transferred to the new community center at the Village.
Veterans Community Project hopes to replicate the services it is providing here for homeless veterans in other cities, and Stout said it plans to begin construction this summer of 25 tiny homes including five family units and a 3,000 square-foot community center in Longmont, Colorado, a suburb of Denver.