There's no denying that veteran homelessness must be eliminated – the thought of people who have served their country honorably being unable to find a place to live is difficult to bear. Government agencies and nonprofits alike have taken to this task using a variety of methods. Organizing successful transitions from homelessness to settled life for veterans is a multi-step process, and it's important to find new and better ways to get people off the streets. Some charities have combined this need with a current housing trend – small, simple dwellings – to create a path to permanent housing for vets.

In Kansas City program, veterans help their fellows
A pattern tends to emerge in charities to help veterans in need: Other service members are often among the most eager to do something productive. As CNN recently reported, the Veterans Community Project was founded by vets with the goal of reintegrating homeless ex-military members into everyday life. This involves a whole village of small but comfortable housing units, each combining a kitchen, bathroom and sleeping space into a tidy 240 square feet.

"Each veteran has unique needs and will take to the program at an individual pace."

By going small, the Veterans Community Project is able to assemble a lot of the homes. If the program hits its goal, it will end up with 52 small houses near Kansas City. The plan doesn't end with giving vets four walls, either. Meetings with mentors will ensure the residents have contact that will encourage them in efforts to reintegrate with the community instead of giving in to isolation. Each veteran has unique needs and will take to the program at an individual pace, and the process has been designed to reflect these differences.

The founders of the Veterans Community Project cast a wide net when considering who is eligible for assistance. CNN reported that the founders want to help "anyone who has ever taken an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America." When other programs don't reach individuals, this one aims to pick up the slack. In the future, the organization hopes to construct a community building to act as a hub for the small homes. Such a center would be a place to receive job training and counseling.

Unique fundraising in Georgia
Several cities and towns around the nation have their own small-house operations, and each will need to find a way to fund itself. According to Savannah Now, the program in Georgia has a unique source of funds: A local sauce company plans to raise money by selling a cookbook. The business's founders asked local chefs to create dishes using the brand's sauces, and sales from the resulting book will go to the Chatham-Savannah Authority's tiny-home village.

In the Savannah example, not every small house in the development will be for veterans. However, a number of the dwellings will be held aside for former military members. Whether as a small-but-functional permanent dwelling or a stepping stone to a larger home, a tiny house can be of great assistance to a vet struggling to get back to normalcy after a period of homelessness. Organizations creating these little domiciles are therefore performing an important and innovative service.