Homeless military veterans make up a remarkably large segment of our nation’s population. It’s a national disgrace to have men and women who have served our country, cast aside and living on the streets.
Veterans Community Project, or VCP, is a Missouri organization that was founded by three veterans who realized the gaps in services that veterans need to survive. They secured an area of about four acres where they are constructing fifty tiny houses that will serve homeless vets. Each house is 240 square feet and is being built by volunteers and with donations from business and private individuals. They began construction in 2015 and plan to be complete and ready for residents by winter 2017. The veterans will also be offered peer counseling and job training as a way to help reintegrate veterans back into the community.
According to their website, VCP says “The goal would be to get veterans straight off the streets and hand them the keys to their full furnished tiny house (stocked with food), without the veteran having to go through the hassles of waiting for gas, electric, deposits, inspections, and voucher processes. We would then stabilize them to educate and support them on reintegrating into society all while treating and addressing their housing barriers as we move them into permanent housing.”
“We do this on weekends, holidays, evenings, whenever we can,” said Chris Lawrence, who is providing some of the lumber used to build the tiny homes through an organization she helps run called 2x4s For Home. “We’re just trying to help make a difference. Little by little, one board at a time.”
“Going from extreme isolation to extreme socialization can be very overwhelming and cause unwanted outcomes. We believe that handing the veteran the keys to their own home and letting them socialize at their own pace is key to a successful outcome.”
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