‘Troop town’ combats veteran homelessness

NOW: ‘Troop town’ combats veteran homelessness

MISHAWAKA, Ind.-- Right next door to VFW Post 360 on Jefferson Boulevard, a tiny home community, Troop Town, is on its way. 

Troop Town is for veterans transitioning out of homelessness, and tiny homes will start going up this coming spring. 

“It’s not our dream anymore, it’s coming to reality,” Jim Metherd, President, and Co-founder of Mishawaka Troop Town, said. “It’s affordable, it’s something that’s easy to manage and maintain, but it still gives that veteran a sense of their own space.” 

The demolition and groundbreaking at the lot next to VFW 360 happened a year ago, on Veterans Day 2022. A year later, the land is almost ready for construction.

“Just finishing up all the site preparation of the underground sewage lines, water lines and everything,” Metherd said. “So, we’ve come a long way in a year.” 

It’s transitional housing, so veterans previously unhoused can stay up to 30 months while they get back on their feet.

“It’s not a room in a homeless center, it’s their own tiny home,” Metherd said.

Rent, food, telephone, and transportation services will be provided to the veterans—free to them. 

“The veteran will have an opportunity to build a savings account, get gainful employment, get gainful employment, and get back into being productive in our community,” he said. 

It's their way of combatting veteran homelessness. 

“I think it’s sad and I also don’t think we know what causes that homelessness. They’ve been to wars and done and seen things that might be hard to sleep with. It impacts their mental health and sometimes addiction issues,” said VFW 360 Canteen Manager Jill Marie Gann. “So helping reintegrate them into the community they went and fought for is such a worthy cause.” 

Metherd says Troop Town is not a handout. 

“We’re providing eight veterans an opportunity to better themselves, and they’re going to work towards that,” he said.   

Two tiny home duplexes will go up this coming spring.

Troop town is primarily funded through community donations. 

Click here to learn more or donate HERE.

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