Veterans ‘tiny home’ community shapes up in north city
BY STEPH KUKULJAN
St. Louis Post Dispatch
ST. LOUIS — One by one, the “tiny homes” that will make up a new community for the St. Louis region’s homeless veterans are taking shape. Seventeen of the 50 planned homes at North Grand Boulevard and Aldine Avenue in the city’s Jeff-Vander-Lou neighborhood have wood framing, ready for volunteers to help finish. Veterans Community Project, the Kansas City nonprofit leading the effort, on Sunday hosted volunteers and community members who were invited to leave encouraging notes for the homes’ future residents. “It is an amazing feeling,” said Rebecca Tallman, the nonprofit’s community engagement coordinator. “It’s beyond words.” The nonprofit aims to provide transitional housing for veterans and connect them with services to help them get back on their feet by building a village of tiny homes, which are roughly 320 square feet. The nonprofit launched its efforts in the Kansas City area in 2016 and kicked off its St. Louis work in 2021. Tallman said the first phase of 20 homes in St. Louis, as well as an outreach center, will be ready for veterans this fall. Ten of the homes will be available for families and 10 others for individual veterans. A community center is planned for a later phase. Dr. Yusef Scoggin, the city’s director of human services, told the nonprofit on Sunday that his department wants to work with Veterans Community Project and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on addressing homelessness. “This is a beacon of what these projects can look like,” Scoggin said.