“Veterans Village” Gives Homeless Veterans Tiny Homes To Live for Free for a Year
Jan 12th, 2021
Sadly, many of the homeless individuals out there are veterans. One of them is 34-year-old Kyle Hanssen.
When this veterans’ marriage fell apart, his wife kicked him out of the house. And since then, this young veteran has become officially homeless. Unfortunately, Hanssen is not the only veteran with the same story. Some veterans return from combat not only with physical but emotional scars as well.
And if they do not get proper treatment, these traumas of war can have a serious impact on their lives. These traumatic experiences can result in PTSD, drug addiction, alcoholism, and usually,r homelessness.
MSNBC reported in 2019 that there were an estimated 37,000 homeless veterans all across the country. These numbers inspired a Kansas-based organization, VCP, to start building one tiny house at a time to somehow help end veteran homelessness.
The Veterans Community Project (VCP) is a group with a goal to “stand in the gaps of a broken system.” The VCP gained nationwide attention when news outlets learned about their “Veterans Village” project. This is an area they built with more than 45 tiny houses to accommodate homeless veterans.
These fully-functional tiny homes are located in South Kansas City. The residents here are carefully selected based on need. And once they are selected, the veterans can then live in a tiny house for free, and for up to a year. Provided that they participate in the required classes and therapies. That includes job training, drug rehabilitation, and counseling.
Josh Henges, the Clinical Director of VCP explained, “There’s very little room for error. They make one slip and it starts their descent all over again.”
That means that this village isn’t meant as a permanent living place. This is the place where veterans can live until they learn income-generating skills and sobriety that they need to come back to living independently.
These are tiny temporary homes for the healing and learning veterans but they are fully functional. It includes brand-new furniture and appliances. Veterans are allowed to take everything with them once they move out!
So when they are ready to go back to their independent lives, they don’t have to worry about purchasing furniture or appliances when they move into a place of their own.
This became the life of Hanssen after his wife left him. Hanssen became homeless with nothing with him. Luckily, he met someone who got him in touch with the VCP. When he was accepted, he then moved in. He had nothing but the clothing that he was wearing. Now, he is living in one of the tiny homes in the village.
Hanssen says, “I haven’t been this comfortable in a long time.”
But the shelter was not the only thing that VCP provides to veterans. They also make sure that the residents here receive social healing in the form of a community network similar to what the veterans left behind.
Because of VCP’s success, the organization is now planning to expand to eight more locations across the U.S. by 2022. Each location will be equipped with both a Veterans Village and a VCP Veteran Outreach Cente. This way, they can help the vets to easily get the medical care and therapies that they need.