KSHB’s 41 Action News reported it first from Kansas City, Missouri. An organization by the name of the Veterans Community Project has made substantial progress in their latest endeavor: building 30 “tiny homes” for 30 homeless veterans. They have completed the first 13 and hope to move in homeless vets soon, and have now even expanded their overall goal as support continues to flood in. As of now, they have the 13 homeless veterans picked out and are ready to move them in.
One of the three veterans who founded the project, Chris Stout said that, “We had a lot of people tell us we couldn’t do it. Not going to do it. Not happening in Kansas City. Well hate to tell you there’s 13 houses on the ground and another 37 more to come.”
What’s a tiny home? As the name implies, they are small houses — typically 300 square feet — built for those in need, or often just for those who feel like downsizing. Many have a certain kind of charm to them, and they can be customized in all sorts of ways. In the realm of inexpensive housing, a tiny home is hard to beat, making it a perfect option for charities looking to get homeless veterans off the street.
Psychology Today took a look at veteran homelessness, and many studies involved in discovering the root of it. They estimate that around 12% of all homelessness are made up of military veterans, quite the increase from the 7.3% of all Americans who are veterans in the first place. Psychology Today said that,
Overall results showed that 5.6 percent of all veterans referred for mental health services experienced homelessness within the following twelve months. Women showed a slightly higher risk than men (7.6% vs. 5.4%) and risk of homelessness also seemed strongly linked to age. Veterans aged 46-55 years were most likely to become homeless though veterans in other age groups were also represented.”
It seems that mental health is one of the major contributing factors, though the article admits that studies like this are difficult to back up. By definition, many homeless people want to stay off the grid, and away from those who are conducting these studies. Other factors can include substance abuse; the veteran’s exiting pay grade seems to have some level of correlation as well. Of course, every case is unique and these factors generally present themselves in unique ways, case by case.
There are multiple charities that have been popping up to combat veteran homelessness, some larger than others. In the St. Petersburg area in Florida for example, the Claybaker D.U.S.T.O.F.F. Foundation gives “survival packs” to homeless veterans in the area. These packs include essential items like “socks, hygiene kits, sunscreen, non-perishable snacks, powdered drink mix, instant coffee, bottled water, AA/AAA batteries, and other specialty items as available.” It may come as no surprise that it’s through local groups that local help will be found.
The Veterans Community Project is another example of veterans who strive to combat veteran homelessness, instead of the usual talk followed by inaction. Check out their website here, where you can take a virtual tour of one of their tiny homes, and you can see the different stages of construction to which you can specifically donate.
Featured image courtesy of YouTube via the Kansas City Star Video channel.