KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Brainstorming on a restaurant napkin: That's how the plans for the country's first Veterans Village came about. A local group is building 50 tiny homes for homeless veterans in Kansas City.
What started a 240-square-foot idea has now garnered support from dozens of groups across the metro, including Kansas City Council, who voted Wednesday to expedite part of the approval process for the project.
The work at Veterans Village is about a year-and-a half in the making. Veteran's Community Project founder Bryan Meyer said, "Tomorrow we'll have final approvals and we'll be good to hit the ground running."
Council members pushed the project through the Plans and Zoning Committee Wednesday afternoon, meaning the full council will vote Thursday to approve the master plan.
Councilwoman Teresa Loar said she's supported the vision from the start.
"These guys know what they're doing. We started talking about a group of young combat vets here that had a passion, had a plan," she said.
The founders are vets themselves, now working to create a compound so homeless veterans here in Kansas City can thrive in their own tiny homes. Veterans' Community Project Founder Kevin Jamison said, "It fits a very unique need in Kansas City."
The men said the backing from the community and across the country has been tremendous. "We anticipated it, and we hoped for it, but that doesn't mean that we were ready for the support."
The first 50 people housed at Veterans Village will be men and women who are on the streets now.
"We're trying to do it in priority of the veterans that are out there that need us the most." From there, he said the process of life change begins. "We are going to take our time, understand what the veteran needs are, and then meet those needs," Jamison said.
Jamison and Meyer want the veterans to eventually transition into their own homes, passing off the tiny home torch to the next veteran in need.
"I think what we're going to put here will be a very, will be a big plus for the neighborhood," Councilwoman Loar said.
Thursday, city council will vote on the master plan, and Friday, a couple hundred volunteers and sponsors will be on site to finish the inside of the first 10 homes.