City Won’t Let Veterans Stay Homeless, Builds Tiny Homes. Gives Them To Vets For Free

Everyone loves tiny houses these days, and everyone hates that there are so many homeless people in our country who have served to defend it in the military. Now, a group in Missouri is taking this love/hate dynamic and putting together an incredible idea.

An organization called Veterans Community project has built an entire village of tiny houses to provide homes for homeless veterans. This idea is both cost effective and empowering, and has potential to be replicated from coast to coast. Check out their story here.

An idea whose time has come: using the tiny house revolution to actually solve a serious problem in our country. Military veterans make up a remarkably large segment of our nation’s homeless population. It is a national disgrace that men and women who have served to protect us in times of war and peace should be cast aside and left to fend for themselves with no support from society beyond occasional handouts.

Veterans Community Project, or VCP, is a Missouri organization that is tackling this problem head on. VCP was founded by three veterans who saw the gaps in services that veterans needed to survive in civilian life after experiencing the trauma of combat followed by life on the streets.

Working on a site of about four acres, they are constructing fifty tiny houses that will serve at least as many homeless vets. But the project does not end by putting a roof over their head. They will also be offering peer counseling and job training as a way to help reintegrate veterans back into the broader community.

According to their website, VCP says “The goal would be to get veterans straight off the streets and hand them the keys to their full furnished tiny house (stocked with food), without the veteran having to go through the hassles of waiting for gas, electric, deposits, inspections, and voucher processes. We would then stabilize them to educate and support them on reintegrating into society all while treating and addressing their housing barriers as we move them into permanent housing.”

Each house is 240 square feet and is being built by volunteers and with donations from business and private individuals.

“We do this on weekends, holidays, evenings, whenever we can,” said Chris Lawrence, who is providing some of the lumber used to build the tiny homes through an organization she helps run called 2x4s For Home. “We’re just trying to help make a difference. Little by little, one board at a time.”

They began construction in 2015 and plan to be complete and ready for residents by winter 2017.

“Going from extreme isolation to extreme socialization can be very overwhelming and cause unwanted outcomes. We believe that handing the veteran the keys to their own home and letting them socialize at their own pace is key to a successful outcome.”

It is commonly accepted on both sides of the political divide that the US Veteran’s Administration has been failing our heroes for decades. From warriors returning from Vietnam, to “Gulf War Syndrome”, right up through the current war on terror, VA hospitals, education programs, and housing services have been a poor payment for a debt that can never truly be repaid.
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Do you live near any settlements like this? Have you ever experienced homelessness in your life? Share your stories with us here.

He Saves Horse off Kill Truck for $200. But Has No Idea He’s Just Bought …

Horse aficionados across America are mindful of Dec. 13, an annual date set aside as National Day of the Horse. On this day, Americans are encouraged to “be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history and character of the United States.”

In celebration of America’s strong, hard-working companion animal, we bring you the story of a horse named Raven. Destined for death on a kill truck several years ago, Raven was rescued and later emerged as a triumphant champion.

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The moment amateur roper and farrier Drew Boies laid eyes on the mare, he was struck by her rare, grulla color. Raven was scrawny, cast aside by a breeder that could no longer afford to feed her herd, yet Boies felt there was something special about this horse.

Boies paid $200 for the yearling and raised her, restoring her health and broken spirit. When Raven was 3 years old, she began training, and by 2016, Ravens Silver Angel was a 3-time Congress Champion.

Boies’ wife, Victoria, shared a little insight into Raven’s history. “Raven was indeed bought off a kill truck for $200,” she confirmed.
“She has been Reserve Congress Champion numerous times and received so many Top Tens here, but this year she finally got to be a Congress Champion,” Victoria continued. Her breed is nothing to write home about, yet she has the heart of a champion.

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“She’s an amazing mare that anybody can ride,” Victoria expressed. “Although, if you were to ask anybody who knows her, they would quickly tell you her favorite thing to do is eat!”

The Boies’ family envisions future competitions for their champion, and are already discussing Raven’s well-deserved retirement. “Of course, she will retire at home with us and eventually give us some good babies,” Victoria said.
Situations like Raven’s make a powerful case for ending needless horse slaughter in the United States. According to the Humane Society, “over 100,000 horses are sent to slaughter each year, and the vast majority would be rehomed; not every horse going to slaughter needs to go to rescue.”

Working together, horses in America can live a full, healthy life, and properly raised in their natural environments. The solution for at-risk and homeless horses is to “curb overbreeding, educate owners about other rehoming options and expand adoption work,” reads the Human Society’s website.

Chances are, horses like Raven are just waiting for their second chance at life. “She’s an amazing mare that constantly gives you everything she has,” Victoria expressed. “We’re blessed to have her in our life.”

Homeless Vet Walks into Shipping Container and Drops Bag on Ground, Knows Life is Changed

It’s disappointingly sad that we have a homeless crisis in this country. You would think that we would have pooled our collective mental resources and figured this one out, and yet…

One of the groups that are greatly affected by homelessness are military veterans. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans cited a U.S. Housing and Urban Development study that placed an estimate on the number of homeless veterans, on any given day, at nearly 40,000.
One of these was Vernon Poling. Poling was an Army veteran who lived on the streets of Orange County, California.
He would spend time on the streets, and in and out of temporary housing as it was available, but he had no permanent prospects. That is until he heard about Potter’s Lane.

Potter’s Lane is a marvel of an idea. It was pushed for by American Family Housing who collected local, state, federal, and donated funds to build the $6.7 million dollar set of 15 apartments.

These are not just ordinary apartments though, they are each constructed from shipping containers! In fact, it takes three containers being put together to build one apartment.

The development was constructed specifically to help out homeless veterans in the area. Donna Gallup, the President of American Family Housing, said that deliberate steps were taken in the design to replicate a military feel for the residents.

She told KNBC, “All of the units look over the courtyard so that they can watch each other’s backs and develop that community and that sense of belonging.” That sense of community, that many had been missing for so long, is important to those looking for a new start.

<code><iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe><p>Source: <a target=”_blank” href=””>Potter’s Lane – American Family Housing</a> by <a target=”_blank” href=””>rumblestaff</a> on <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Rumble</a></p> </code>
It may not be the most important factor of Potter’s Lane, though. Poling places a more material item at the head of his top ten list: his bed.

“There’s been a couple nights that I’ve been surprised I’ve slept so long,” he told KNBC. “To finally have my own place, it feels really good.”

This is an ingenious way to help a community that people often look past. What creative ways is your community pursuing to help the homeless?

Mom Paralyzed after Fall Down Flight of Stairs. Five Days Later, Husband of 14 Years Says It’s Over

Becoming paralyzed is often the most difficult challenge anyone can face in their life. When it happens, those individuals need friends and family to stay by their side more than ever.

Mom of 4, Riona Kelly, never expected to feel so helpless. But after suffering from a spinal stroke and falling down a flight of stairs, Kelly became paralyzed from the waist down.

A spinal stroke is a disruption in the blood system to the spinal cord. They are rare and only account for approximately 1.25 percent of all strokes.

To add insult to injury, while still in the hospital, Kelly’s husband of 14 years left. When she needed him most, her supporter and the father of their four children gave up on their marriage.

He claims that he broke things off the morning before Kelly’s stroke. Either way, he left her during a time when she was down and could have used his help.


They Think Cop Arrived to Shut Down Jam Session. Then He Did the Unthinkable

Let’s face it. More often than not these days police officers get a bad rap.

The nightly news, social media pages, and even YouTube are full of reports and videos depicting them in situations where unnecessary force and roughness has been captured on cell phones. One need not search very far to find one.
The major problem with broadcasting these negative displays is that the good they do never seems to capture quite as much interest. Few bother to film a cop helping someone change a flat or coming to the assistance of someone in need.

It’s important to be aware that these officers of the law are everyday people just like the rest of us. They have families, they go to church, they golf, and they have hobbies like anyone else.

Most importantly, the largest percentage of them just want to do the job they were hired to do before going home to their kids. But we seldom read reports about the good they do.

At Champs Sports Bar and Grill in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, patrons thought the officer who walked through the front door came in to shut down the live music that was being played. Perhaps the volume was a bit too loud and someone living close by complained.
The band was prepared to either turn the down volume or shut down completely as the officer approached the stage. It was then that an interesting turn of events took place, much to the surprise of everyone.

The office had no intention of making the band quit. It was not why he was there at all.

Officer Landis, who was actually just enjoying what he was hearing, decided to join musician Matt Meyer and his band on stage. They were surprised when Landis picked up a violin from the stand it was sitting in.

He then proceeded to join in with the current song, flawlessly finding his groove and going for it, much to the delight of the band and the lucky patrons. Take a listen.
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The old adage “Never judge a book by its cover,” certainly held true in this instance. It’s a shame how the actions of a few can destroy the image of the majority of police officers who take their sworn oath seriously, to serve and protect. Office Landis is truly a shining example.

If you’re encouraged by seeing Officer Landis’ talent and interaction with members of his community, be sure to share this with friends and family on Facebook! We can all use an uplifting story in our day.

-The musicians thought the cop was there to shut down their live show at the bar. But then it happened…
I was blown away the moment he started playing the violin!!