A village of 15 tiny houses designed for homeless veterans just opened in the Canadian city, charging vets $600 a month to live there until they get back on their feet.
11 veterans to move into Calgary ‘Homes for Heroes’ tiny home village
A village of tiny homes for Canadian veterans in Calgary was opened to the public on 28 October and to tenants on 1 November. The project, led by the Homes for Heroes Foundation, provides homes and services to homeless veterans looking to make a fresh start. The foundation hopes to build 20 of these tiny villages across Canada.
The foundation met with over 200 vets to get an understanding of their needs
On 1 November, a village of tiny homes for homeless veterans opened to its new residents in Calgary, a city of 1.5 million inhabitants in Alberta, Canada.
The project is an initiative led by the Homes for Heroes Foundation, providing homes and services to homeless Canadian veterans looking to make a fresh start.
Dave Howard, the president and cofounder of the Homes for Heroes Foundation, told Business Insider that the foundation met with over 200 veterans across Canada to get an understanding of what type of program they thought would work.
"They said, ‘Look, we want to come into a program, not just a house, and get help with things we’re working on,’" Howard said.
The goal of the project, Howard explained, is to have the veterans move in, get help, get back on their feet, get a job, move out, and then come back and mentor the next veterans coming in. There is no limit to how long each veteran can live in the village.
"For some, it could be 14 months and for others, it could be up to three years. It really depends on their program," Howard said.
Residents to pay $600 a month for a tiny home and access to a range of resources
Along with 15 tiny homes, the village also includes a resource center, a counsellor’s office, a family suite, and community gardens.
Village residents have special, customised programs that are created specifically for their needs. They are given access to a variety of services that include mentoring, case management, and counseling.
The foundation’s Dave Howard told Business Insider there is a counsellor on-site who works 9 to 5, and a health and wellness center, operated by the charity The Mustard Seed, in downtown Calgary that the residents have full access to.
Each tiny home spans 25.55 square metres/ 275 square feet. The homes were built by ATCO, a Calgary-based global provider of integrated energy, housing, transportation, and infrastructure solutions.
Each home includes a full kitchen, a breakfast bar and workstation, a full bathroom, and a living area with a sofa and a Murphy bed.
Howard explained that the tiny homes were made at ATCO’s warehouse before being delivered to the site. On November 1, tenants were able to move in — and all 15 homes were filled.
In order to live there, veterans have to fill out an application and complete a needs analysis. Howard told Business Insider that the spaces are offered to those the foundation believes will have success in the program.
The residents are also expected to pay $600 a month in rent. According to Howard, those who need time and help accessing funding are not expected to pay rent until they have access.
The rent covers all of the social services: PTSD counseling and education, medical, and employment services. The $600 also covers home expenses: heat, water, phone, internet, and security.
- The average price of renting a one-bedroom home in Calgary is $1,576.
- The average price of a one-bedroom apartment rental in Calgary is $1,156
The Homes for Heroes Foundation plans to build 20 tiny-home villages for veterans across Canada. Currently, the organisation is working on a second village in Edmonton — another city in Alberta, Canada.
3 Ways to Help Homeless Veterans
Helping homeless veterans is a great way to show your appreciation for their service. You can help homeless veterans whether you are an individual or an organization. If you are an individual, donate food, clothing, or your professional services to veterans. If you are an organisation, partner with the VA to hire homeless veterans or provide them with affordable housing.