After their dedication and service to their country, it is unfortunate that once they go back home some veterans experience problems ranging from emotional issues to not being able to find a job or even housing. To help these veterans, a group of combat veterans started the non-profit organization, Veterans Community Project (VCP).
As stated in a video on their YouTube channel: The Veterans Community Project is on a mission to end Veteran homelessness through a community network of tiny homes and services. “The most important part of these homes is housing with dignity; it is not just a roof over their heads. This is a true home for them,” shares Bryan Myer, VCP Chief Executive Officer and co-founder. The houses are meant to serve as a transitional place for the veterans until they are able to get back on their feet.
Not only are the veterans provided free housing, but they can also go to the Veteran Outreach Center where veterans can avail themselves of different services such as employment support, military documentation services, emergency assistance, etc.
A case manager also works with each veteran to provide emotional support as well as to come up with a plan with the end goal of the veteran being able to get permanent housing.
The village is located at 89th and Troost, Kansas City, Missouri. There are a total of 49 housing units. Four of these are designed for families and can fit up to seven people, while the rest are for individuals. Each house measures between 240 to 320 square feet.
Around 70% of the houses in the village were built by volunteers and were fully furnished by the community. The village has a lot of green open space. Thanks to a project by a girl scout, there´s now a greenhouse in the village where veterans can grow their vegetables.
A recent addition to the village is a fence which serves a double purpose. This gives added privacy as well as security to the homes. Aside from that, the aesthetic appeal of the picket fence adds charm not only to the individual houses but also to the entire village.
It’s a single step up leading to the front door, which is painted all white with a rectangular glass pane on its upper portion. The shiplap front exterior wall which is painted bluish-gray complements the overall tranquil and calming tone that welcomes the veteran to his new home.
As you enter the house, you are immediately impressed by how the different areas were thoughtfully laid out, with the placement of the bed as the primary consideration. It is comfortably secured in a corner while at the same time, it allows you to get a clear view of the rest of the living space.
The wide windows that line one wall lets in natural light and ventilation. All the windows face the non-window side of the neighboring house so that privacy is secured for both houses. There is a full-size bathroom as well.
Every house in the village is equipped with brand new furnishings and appliances. The kitchen has everything one might possibly need-- a full-sized refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, stove, and oven-- including a kitchen sink.
When the veteran is ready to leave, he can take all the contents of the house with him and the house is then refurnished for the next veteran who will use the house.
These tiny homes are definitely a place of respite for veterans. Not only do these homes provide them shelter from the elements but it also allows them to recharge mentally and emotionally thus making them ready to calmly plan the next phase in their lives.
In a quiet spot within the village the veteran may spend some “alone” time in a labyrinth that features stopping points, all of which symbolize life.
Also in the village’s wide, open space there’s a dog park with two separate lots where veterans can play and unwind with their four-legged friends.