KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Phase one of the Veterans Community Project Tiny Homes Community is complete, and 13 homeless veterans now have a place to call their own.
“It's not as big as MTV Cribs, but it's mine so it's big to me,” Army veteran Marvin Gregory said.
Gregory said he's living in a dream he never thought would come true.
“I'd probably say it's been over 11 years since I've had something that's my own. It's been a long time. It's been a long road.” Gregory said. “Before I ran into these guys, home was pretty much wherever I laid my head. That could be in many a places like it has over the years. But thank God that's over with now. I have my own.”
More than a dozen homeless veterans got their first look at their new homes, including Air Force veteran David Knox who said this community will be unlike anything in Kansas City.
“The most special part for me is seeing happy faces," Knox said. "We're all veterans. We've all served our country. We've all added to the community and are looking forward to giving back."
Chris Stout, president and co-founder of Veterans Community Project, said it costs roughly $15,000 a year to house one veteran. Stout said a 5,000-square-foot community center will be built to house every resource these veterans need so they can one day move into homes of their own.
“If somebody needs help with credit repair, then we are going to square that away. If somebody needs help with back child support, we're going to work with them and the state to get that taken care of. The idea is to just not say no,” Stout said.
Gregory believes he's gotten more than a home. He also has hope.
“I've had a lot of people say, 'We're going to help you do this. We're going to help you do that,' and it's always been something that came up. These guys have stood fast in their tracks, and they are not letting me down, and I`m not going to let them down. This is my home. It's nowhere but up from here,” Gregory said. “The first thing I’m going to do when I come in and nobody else is around -- I’m going to get on my knees, and I’m going to say a prayer and thank God for this because this is a really big blessing.”
An additional 37 tiny houses will be built. Veterans Community Project said the project will be completed by the end of the year.