Veteran homelessness is a widespread issue that affects communities in almost every state. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans estimates there to be about 47,725 homeless veterans in the United States, with another 1.4 million at risk of losing their abodes for varying reasons.
Although the federal government and Department of Veterans Affairs have launched major initiatives to lower the number of at-risk or currently homeless veterans, states and local communities are certainly doing their fair share as well. In some instances, groups and local municipalities are getting a bit more creative in their strategies to end veteran homelessness in their areas.
Tiny homes in Wisconsin
The Star Tribune recently reported that a group in Racine, Wisconsin has started to leverage a broader movement called "tiny house" to erect shelters and homes for their veterans. According to the news provider, Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin have taken on many volunteers to so far build 15 tiny houses in a village of sorts that will be home to veterans upon completion.
As a note, tiny houses are popular in the eco-consciousness arena, with many homeowners who want to have the smallest possible carbon footprint choosing to take this approach to their construction. The size does not obstruct the comfort of the home itself, though.
"Up here you will have a lofted bed, and beneath it a couch," Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin Executive Director Jeff Gustin told the Star Tribune. "There will be a desk here in the corner with an outlet. You can put a microwave here and little refrigerator, and over there would be the composting toilet."
This is also by no means a permanent fix for any of the veterans involved. Rather, the source pointed out that the program will last for two years, with assistance in finding permanent housing being available toward the end.
Project in its infancy
The Rapid City Journal reported that a developer in the South Dakota community has purchased the Redwood Motel, which has been unlivable for a while now, and intends to renovate it for veterans. By the end of the project, the developer expects the building to house 34 separate units and just about as many veterans who are without homes currently, the news provider noted.
These types of smaller-scale projects can make all the difference in combating veteran homelessness.