TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Two organizations are collaborating to help stop a disturbing trend in the Wabash Valley, an increased amount of homeless veterans.
According to Reach Services, last year they helped 200 homeless veterans.
To combat this issue, six new tiny homes will be built on Maple Ave and North 23rd Street. Each structure will resemble a studio apartment and be around 380 square feet.
Occupants will receive a kitchen, living area and porch.
Below are more detailed renderings of the spaces.
The property is owned by the Terre Haute Area Association of Realtors, who will build the houses. Once completed, the property will be managed by Reach Services.
Project Chair, Kyle McClain said this initiative became personal for the board members of THAAR as all have some connection to the military.
“In this country, it’s no secret that our veterans are often left behind once they come home and their service is over. We just felt it was a great opportunity for us to step up and help,” He said.
The homes will be transitional, or a short term stay.
Case management, therapy and numerous other services will be provided. Veterans who qualify for disability benefits will also get the assistance to apply for them.
Occupants will be selected to live in the homes based on who has the highest need for intensive care. Later, they’ll go to a more long-term stay residency.
“I’m extremely excited, this is something that’s been needed for quite some time. It’s been a long time coming. To be able to partner on this [project] and be a part of this is amazing,” John Burk, Director of Veterans Services for Reach Services, said.
Burk adds it’s critical for veterans to have their own space as some may be battling a disease from the war they’ve served in.
The space was rezoned to leave room for potential expansion including two more homes or an onsite office for Reach Services. The building could also house a laundry unit.
The project costs around $350,000 and will be paid for by grants, donations and fundraisers.
By the homes, a park will be built. A design has not been chosen. However, McClain said a seating area and memorial will be provided.
“I look at this as a phase one project. I look at this as the beginning. We’ll see how helpful and resourceful this is. I have no doubt this is going to be an amazing project and will grow in other areas, ” Burk said.
Burk’s sentiment is shared by McClain.
“We’re hoping this sets a trend in the right direction,” He added.
If you’re interested in helping out or donating, a few community events are coming up that the public is encouraged to attend. That information can be found below.