A national veteran support organization is bringing its next mini-neighborhood to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The Veterans Community Project (VCP) is on a mission, trying to be certain no U.S. military veteran “falls through the cracks.” In 2019, the organization constructed a neighborhood of “tiny houses” in Kansas City, consisting of 49 homes on five acres of land purchased from the city for $500. In 2021, they hope to do the same in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Just two acres of land near Axtell Middle School would need to be rezoned for the project, which would see the construction of 22 individual homes, eight family homes, and a community center. VCP would also provide a case manager, along with “transitional support” for the veterans.
The homes are created with veterans’ specific needs in mind. Their small barracks-style footprint and an ability to see all points of house from their bed are designed to be comfortable for those who suffer post-traumatic stress. The construction of the houses also provides “volunteer opportunities for residents, local businesses and organizations,” according to co-founder and community resources coordinator Vincent Morales.
Morales and Ben Hendershot, vice president of national construction, spoke to city councilors Tuesday. After the meeting, Hendershot seemed optimistic. “The local leadership in Sioux Falls around here has been nothing short of perfect,” he said. The Sioux Falls project has been in discussion since 2019, but was delayed due to the pandemic.
The Sioux Falls Planning Commission will review the rezoning proposal Wednesday. Assuming its approval, it will then appear before the council on April 20. Hendershot told the Argus Leader they hope to have the community fully operational within two years of approval.