Plot of land donated for homeless veteran community

Plot of land donated for homeless veteran community. 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Plans are in the works to build Louisville's first tiny home community for homeless veterans.

The community would have 30-plus homes off Dixie Highway near Stuart Avenue.

“I can't tell you how much it means to be able to be like 'I have a home, and this mine, and this is something I can take pride in,'” veteran Megan Karr said.

Karr spent nine-and-a-half years in the Army and Coast Guard, serving in the Middle East as military police for Operation Enduring Freedom. Now back in civilian life, she’s come upon some unexpected hardships.

“I was homeless for six-and-a-half months,” Karr said.

On top of that, she has PTSD, night terrors, anxiety and the after-effects of a traumatic brain injury. She is exactly the type of person the tiny home community could help.

“Veterans can get healing, they can learn life-skill classes in a way that they can leave after 12 months of staying in a tiny home and be able to sustain themselves out in the public and make sure that they're equipped for life and to get them off the street,” said Jeremy Harrell, founder of the Veteran’s Club.

Harrell is a veteran and hoped the plan will transform veterans’ lives in more way than one. He said the idea is to have the 320-square-foot tiny homes built around a community center where veterans can come together.

“Veteran homelessness should be non-existent," he said. "Like somebody was willing to give their life."

The $300,000 plot of land in southwest Louisville was originally to be developed as single family homes. But Chris Thieneman decided to donate the property instead to combine his passion for the military with his wife's passion to help the homeless.

“I just know how they sacrifice. They are my heroes,” Thieneman said. “She said, 'Let’s give back. Let’s do something.'”

Now that a location is secured, the goal is to look for investors, businesses and donors to get behind the project.

Harrell also hopes to get neighbors in the community involved as well.

“And if there's anything we can do to make the transition a little easier, we would like to,” Harrell said.

But before anything can be done, the project has to get zoning approval by city officials. And he hopes they realize just how important it would be for the veteran community.

“This is going to change lives,” he said.

Harrell hopes to have the first tiny home built by next year. If you’d like to help with this project or make a donation, you can email Harrell at Louisville.veterans@gmail.com.

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