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Groundbreaking for veteran tiny home community kicks off today

A groundbreaking ceremony for 15 tiny homes that are transitional and therapeutic housing for veterans who are experiencing homelessness will take place today.

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — A groundbreaking ceremony will take place today for 15 tiny homes that are transitional and therapeutic housing meant for veterans who are experiencing homelessness. 

Located on a five-acre plot donated by Peggy Grove, the Veterans Outreach of Pennsylvania (VOPA) is building a village for veterans to come and get the support they need. 

“Veteran housing is more about those veterans who are willing to sacrifice for our freedom and deserve this,” said Tom Zimmerman, co-founder and chairman of VOPA. 

VOPA first unveiled the Tiny Homes project in the fall of 2021 with an initial fundraising goal of $4.1 million. Several organizations donated to the nonprofit that made it possible for them to break ground today.

“Once the houses become occupied, it’s going to be a therapeutic model, which we are going to be creating what we call an individual service plan for our veterans,” said Zimmerman. 

The individual service plan is based on a therapeutic evidence-based policy that allows veterans to stay on task, provide support and solve the issues that may have resulted in individual homelessness. According to Boston University, the broad cause that results in veteran homelessness is the issue of affordable housing.

“There are a number of issues,” said Zimmerman. ”Some of the homeless veterans have PTSD issues, addiction issues, some reached roadblocks and just spiraled down from there… our end goal is for them to live a life of pride and dignity and get back into society, and then make a difference in someone else’s life.” 

Zimmerman said they’re targeting the 20% of veterans who have not succeeded in the infrastructure that’s available now. The application process is being drafted, but organizers say veterans will enter into a contract with VOPA. A plan between the veteran and the nonprofit consists of an agreement.

The projected date to complete the 15 tiny homes is this winter. 

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