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Louisville veterans organization sponsors plan to build tiny homes for homeless vets

Homeless veteran Ferry Building Farmer's Market in San Francisco, Calif. (Vera Yu and David Li/Flickr)
October 15, 2019

A local veterans group based in Louisville has announced plans to build tiny homes for homeless veterans in the area with the hopes of their illnesses and help get their lives’ back on track.

Veteran’s Club founder Jeremy Harrell said the plan is to build Kentucky’s first tiny home community for veterans who are homeless.

The community, called “Camp Restoration,” could have more than 30 320-square-foot tiny homes built around a community center where veterans can come together.

A lot in southwest Louisville was originally planned to be developed for single family homes, but the lot owner, Chris Thieneman decided to donate the $300,000 property.

The donation served as a two in one for him and his wife. He has a passion for helping veterans, while his wife loves to serve the homeless.

“I just know how they sacrifice. They are my heroes,” Thieneman said told WDRB. “She said, ‘Let’s give back. Let’s do something.'”

With the lot secured, the next step is to find investors and businessmen to fund the project to build the tiny homes. Harrell said he hopes to have the first tiny home built by next year.

“The veterans will get a 12-month stay and undergo extensive medical, mental and physical assessments. They will be required to be sober, perform community service and attend therapy onsite,”  Harrell told American Military News.

“As a combat veteran who is diagnosed with PTSD, I understand the struggle these vets often face which can cause issues in life to produce homelessness. I too have been without housing,” he added. “I’m using my story to provide hope to those who feel like they can’t bounce back and using it to help thousands of veterans in the state of Kentucky and nationally as well. We are some of the most resilient people in the world and they can overcome.”

“Veterans can get healing, they can learn life-skill classes in a way that they can leave after 12 months of staying in a tiny home and be able to sustain themselves out in the public and make sure that they’re equipped for life and to get them off the street,”  Harrell told WDRB.

“Veteran homelessness should be non-existent,” he said. “Like somebody was willing to give their life.”

One veteran, Megan Karr was homeless for six-and-a-half months after serving in the Army and Coast Guard in the Middle East as military police for Operation Enduring Freedom.

“I can’t tell you how much it means to be able to be like ‘I have a home, and this mine, and this is something I can take pride in,’” Karr, who has PTSD, night terrors and anxiety from a traumatic brain injury said.

Karr is exactly the type of person a tiny home community could help.