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    tommy's Avatar
    Supporting member

    Vets Tiny Houses in Santa Rosa

    I was in contact with Supervisor Zane's office, regarding the Tiny Houses for homeless Vets, in Santa Rosa. They reported that the project is being managed by Community Housing of Sonoma County. Questions about this came out of the prior thread on homelessness. I'm not sure what to say, as this will provide only a tiny bit of solution to the problem. I just read a chapter about Dorothy Day, who created the Catholic Worker newspaper and activist organization, in The Road to Character by David Brooks. Dorothy dedicated her life to service of the poor, to "build a model of what the world would look like if Christians really did lead the lives that the Gospels command and love." I am humbled by her path.

    The Community Housing ED, Paula Cook, emailed me that:

    "We are currently moving through the approval process at the county and hope to begin site work in February and complete the units for occupancy in July."

    Here's a description of the project from Community Housing website:

    Veterans Village on the Sonoma County campus will provide critical housing for 26 homeless veterans in 26 tiny homes, each under 300 square feet. The small carbon footprint of the buildings and the overall sustainability of the development will complement this service-rich community. Veterans will receive rental assistance, case management, and clinical support provided by the Santa Rosa Veteranís Affairs clinic. Eugene Burger Management Corporation will provide property management services and two peer counselors will live on-site as key tenants. Many community volunteers, businesses and organizations have offered to provide support to the veteran tenants. We are grateful to our community partners who support our veterans.

    On any given night in Sonoma County there are approximately 400 veterans who do not have a home to sleep in and must find alternative housing such as on a couch in someone's home, in a car, under a bridge, or on the street. Living unsheltered accelerates all kinds of physical challenges and emotional issues for our veterans. Imagine how much energy it takes to stay safe and warm or cool while living in a car or on a sidewalk. Then imagine dealing with other conditions, such as heart disease, or diabetes. Then imagine adding PTSD to this list, and quite possibly substance abuse to calm the demons of PTSD. These conditions alone are extremely challenging. Dealing with these conditions while homeless is practically impossible.

    Sonoma County has committed to providing housing for its homeless veterans. Housing our nationís veterans is not only a moral imperative, it is an economic one. The cost to treat a homeless veteran at an emergency room and what typically can become a longer hospital stay, or the cost to arrest a veteran and house them in jail for a night, a week or longer far exceeds the cost per day to provide housing and support to assist our veterans in returning to an independent life. Upwards of $4,000 per veteran per hospital stay, or $138 per veteran per day in jail compared to $14.30 per veteran per day at Veterans Village at the County makes clear economic sense for supportive housing serving homeless veterans.
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