The Veterans Community Project will be a community where homeless veterans can live for free.
Last week a small ceremony marked the groundbreaking of a tiny house village being constructed in Longmont, Colorado. The tiny home village is designed to house veterans, and there will be both family homes and homes for single individuals, as well as a community center. About 150 people, including Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Longmont City Manager Harold Dominguez, attended the ceremony.
The Veterans Community Project Village Longmont (VCP Village) will be located on two and a half acres off Nelson Road, near the Home Depot and Target. The village will hold 26 tiny homes, including five 350-square-foot homes for families; these homes will sleep up to seven people. The other 21 homes will be 240-square-foot homes that will lodge one person. Each home will be stacked with furniture, appliances, bedding, and household items.
Veterans will be able to live in the homes free of charge and utilizes will be paid for, as well. The village is intended to provide everything veterans need to live safely and help them get back on their feet with employment and healthy living.
VCP was started in Kansas City, Missouri, by a group of veterans dedicated. The Longmont location will be the first satellite location of the project and is modeled after the VCP Kansas City project. Longmont was chosen as the site for the next village for many reasons; to support from the local government and city council that has taken a progressive approach at addressing homelessness, according to Veterans Community Project Colorado Executive Director Paul Melroy.
VCP Kansas City, Courtesy of Veterans Community Project (Facebook)
According to the organization, close to 40,000 veterans are homeless and sleep on the streets every night. The village is being built in what is called a “trauma-informed design” and dedicated “sanctuary and emotional spaces.” Homelessness is often an effect of underlying issues related to trauma, and unfortunately, too many of those brave individuals who have served our country end up in hard situations.
The VCP aims to combat those issues and will work with residents on a one-on-one case basis, providing support, a health and wellness focus, assistance with employment, education, financial stability, and helping to develop a plan to move forward. The long-term goal will be to help the VCP Village residents transition to permanent housing.
The land was donated by HMS Development, who has also donated all the pre-construction infrastructure-water, sewer, gas, roads, etc. The project expects to get fully underway with vertical construction starting next spring. Potential residents for the village will be referred through community partners, veteran services, and nonprofits, as well as Veterans Community Project outreach.
What other projects focused on helping homeless veterans do you know of here in Colorado? Let us know in the comments.