"The Longmont Village will feature 26 tiny houses where veterans can live for free and a 3,000-square foot community center.
LONGMONT, Colo. — With a few speeches and a few turns of golden shovels, the next chapter in helping homeless veterans began Thursday in Longmont.
A crowd of roughly 150 people gathered under white tents on a dirt lot to mark the groundbreaking for the Veterans Community Project’s Longmont Village. Among those in attendance were Longmont City Manager Harold Dominguez, past and present city council members and Gov. Jared Polis, who said the nation needs to respond to the call to support those who protect us.
Numerous speakers, including Polis and Veterans Community Project cofounder Mark Solomon, said as many as 40,000 veterans sleep on the streets each night across the country. But while such a staggering figure is inexcusable, it is not insurmountable, Solomon said.
That’s where the Veterans Community Project comes in.
When completed, the Longmont Village will feature 26 tiny houses and a 3,000-square foot community center. The Village, which will be off Nelson Road to the west of Home Depot and Target, will feature five 340-square-foot homes for families able to sleep up to seven people, while the remainder will be 240 square feet for single residents. Veterans will be allowed to live for free in the homes stocked with new furniture, appliances, housewares and bedding. Utilities also will be paid.
But the village is more than just homes built with “trauma-informed design.” It also will provide the “sanctuary and emotional space” for veterans and the Veterans Community Project team to address the underlying cause of homelessness. That model is based on the Veterans Village in Kansas City, Missouri.
The 49-home Kansas City Village began housing veterans in 2018 and is just starting to see veterans graduating to permanent housing, said Veterans Community Project Colorado Executive Director Paul Melroy. "
Author: Julie Baxter (Longmont Leader)
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