A Veterans Group in KC Is Building a Village of Tiny Homes for Homeless Vets

A nonprofit group called 2×4’s for Hope has raised enough money to build a village of 50 tiny houses and a community outreach center for homeless veterans who don’t qualify for other programs within the city.

Volunteers from the Veterans Community Project broke ground on the project earlier this week with hopes of having its first order of ten tiny houses standing next month. The shells of the ten homes are being built off site and will be shipped upon completion to their final location in south Kansas City.

A semi-trailer dropped off 5,292 two-by-fours — most of which carried messages of thanks from individual donors who supported the project by buying a piece of lumber.

The Kansas City Star reported:

Your sacrifice has not gone unnoticed, wrote someone next to the name Steve Clark. He festooned with Sharpie-colored American flags the $3 stud he purchased for the project.

The Veterans Community Project, a nonprofit formed by local veterans just nine months ago, hopes to have its first order of 10 tiny houses standing next month.

The lumber was provided by another nonprofit, 2x4s For Hope, which delivered the goods out of Quincy, Ill. Organization founders Mark and Chris Lawrence traveled with the 18-wheeler carrying the wood.

“We do this on weekends, holidays, evenings, whenever we can,” said Chris Lawrence, who noted that both she and her husband have full-time jobs. “We’re just trying to help make a difference. Little by little, one board at a time.”

In 2010 the couple was part of a team of Quincy residents who donated boards signed with greetings to earthquake-struck Haiti. Forming the nonprofit 17 months ago, they hosted events in which people can sponsor a board, put their names to it and write well-wishes for survivors of disasters.

In recent months, the Lawrences have joined a nationwide movement to create tiny-house communities for needy veterans.

“We’re going to see how we can work into the interior design a way the veterans can see some of these messages” on the studs, said Jamison, a Marine veteran. “Like maybe in a closet? That would be cool.”

Jamison said, “Volunteer labor, donated material and Americans’ respect for veterans make the project possible.”

Check out a video about the project on the next page.