CNN HERO CHRIS STOUTWTVA
Posted: Oct. 19, 2018
Chris Stout's nonprofit provides tiny houses and support to homeless veterans and assists any local vet with jobs, transportation and other issues.
"It provides everything these guys need to live with dignity, safely, and then fix what got them there in the first place."
Leo Morris served in the Air Force. Karen Carter patrolled with the Coast Guard. Henry Owens enlisted in the Navy.
These veterans all served their country. They've also shared another experience: homelessness.
"You feel a sense of desperation, loneliness," said Owens, who was homeless for eight years. "I had no hope."
Today, they have another common bond: They are neighbors. Each one lives in a tiny home in the Veterans' Village in Kansas City, Missouri -- run by the Veterans Community Project.
The nonprofit is the vision of a group of young veterans led by former US Army Corporal Chris Stout.
After being wounded in Afghanistan in 2005 and returning home, Stout struggled with his injury and PTSD. He enjoyed being around veterans and got a job connecting vets to services they needed. But he was frustrated by the gaps and inefficiencies he saw. At times, Stout used his own money to put homeless veterans up in hotel rooms.
In 2015, he and a few buddies quit their jobs and started their organization.
"We are the place that says 'yes' first and figures everything else out later," Stout said. "We serve anybody who's ever raised their hand to defend our Constitution."
Stout found that many homeless veterans didn't like traditional shelters because they were unsafe or lacked privacy. When he learned about tiny homes, he quickly realized that a cluster of them made a lot of sense.
read more here