First veterans move into neighborhood of tiny homes in Sioux Falls
Housing program helps homeless vets transition into permanent housing
The first veterans have moved into a Sioux Falls neighborhood of tiny homes this fall, marking the first-of-its-kind accessible housing development in South Dakota.
The Veterans Community Project (VCP) of Sioux Falls has welcomed its first residents as three military veterans began moving into the two-acre campus near Axtell Middle School in the north central region of the city.
Aimed at combatting veteran homelessness, VCP is a specialized community of tiny homes intended to provide “sanctuary and the emotional space needed for each veteran to thoroughly address the underlying causes of their homelessness,” according to VPC.
“A lot of tears were shed,” VPC director Eric Gage said of the tiny home neighborhood receiving its first tenants. “These are their first actual homes in many years. Something that isn't a vehicle, a motel, an overcrowded shelter, or the streets.”
Thanks to community donations, each home is fully furnished with everything the veteran needs, from new furniture and household goods to a stocked refrigerator and an American flag hanging over the front porch.
Volunteers and staff added a few special touches to make each veteran feel at home, such as their favorite snacks, handwritten notes from the community, and a painting. One of the new residents was overcome by seeing his own set of utensils. Another stood speechless before finally saying, “This is more than I could ever imagine.”
As the Veterans settle in, VCP case managers will provide wrap-around support services and help each resident identify short and long-term goals. Based on VCP’s flagship model in Kansas City, the average length of stay in VCP Village is approximately 14 months before veterans transition to their own permanent housing.
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