Veteran Resort-Chapel Team for NH Social Venture Innovation Challenge
NH Law RSA 165:5 Obligates the community to care for Homeless Combat Veterans
Eleven-Percent of our children go off to serve in our Military each year. The effects of War on their mind, to come back to the maze that one has to follow to get government help when we return leaves 25 percent of the homeless in the USA, being US Military Veterans. A solution is unknown as most of the people treating these Veterans are people that never served and if they did serve have none or very little combat experience. People listen to the combat veteran but they do not hear what we are telling them. Maybe we are telling them in terms only someone that has been there can conceive. Each combat experience is so different than others. Some, order men under their command to their death, some are caught in battle as body parts fly past you, sniper fire dings off your helmet or just the constant reminder death is the only way out. The enormous amount of idle time waiting for the enemy to strike is the worst. We constantly relive a life that we should never have come back alive from. Everyone tells you time will make it better. Time passes, as the intensity of the constant reliving where we were and what we did only grows more difficult as time passes. We leave our families. We fought to protect them, now we are the danger to their future success. We loose our jobs for our sharp movements to survive combat, from unexpected noise or sudden actions, loud voices ordering once men now our friends and family as if the mission depended on it.
After the shelters were filled in the winter of 2013-14 there were 635 homeless veterans left to survive on the streets of NH. Many combat veterans would rather live on the streets instead of a shelter. The confines of living in a shelter so close to others or under constant orders of what you can do and not do, generate the intensity of what we have become and where we have been. Shelters bring back Military memories. We will not live like that with the thought that our minds will invoke danger to another American citizen back here in the “Real World” USA. We are the (members of the eleven percent) forgotten, ignored homeless combat veterans living on the streets of NH. Experience, as I was one of these homeless, forgotten, ignored and 100% disabled from combat disabilities (but discharged into society with no medical or help) lived homeless on the streets of NH my first several years back from the conflict in 75. A high school friend (that got back from Vietnam a year before me) unknown to me because of my TBI (I had no memory of life before the Marine Corps) saw me on the streets of Dover in 75. He gave me a room in his apartment, got me VA medical help and helped me get in to UNH. This friend showed me a solution is just a non-judgmental hand to re-enter a society that we do not belong.
Helping these heroes benefits every person in the USA. The economic impact of bringing back men and women that were once productive, to a state of mind where they can interact with others and become contributors to the society we did it for. To do this by building tiny homes that each individual veteran can have as there own for as long as they need it rent free until they get a job. The challenge is two fold one is the cost and how to make this a self-supporting solution. The second is what catalyst or innovative manner can we use to capture the veteran’s mind in a settle non-provoking way to make the veteran remember but in a humors way and inspire the environmentalist to use the challenge as the inspiration to reach their goals also. My wife and I bought (with our life savings) eleven acres of land on Wheel Wright pond at 101 Stepping Stone Rd Lee NH. We then donated the land to a Veterans Non-Profit (Veteran Resort-Chapel) with the mission of helping homeless US Military combat Veterans. We built the first cabin 16’x24’ with a chapel on the basement floor and a one bedroom apartment on the second floor. The remaining 12 cabins will be 8’x16’ single person, scattered through out the woods. Each cabin will be identified as a religious reading room for the Veteran to talk to what ever God they choose or not. Each cabin will use only a compost toilet to keep black water from destroying our soil. The compost will be used in the gardens set across the property for the Veterans to find nature by growing their own life in the way of plants. The Grey water from each cabin will be filtered back into the soil for future use. The Compost toilets will also remind the combat veteran of the out houses used in the confines of war and the discussing nature of them. A chuckle will come to the eyes of each veteran each time they use them remembering the smell, flies and many more adjectives we will not use.
The goal is to allow in time for the Veteran to find his or her way back mentally as well as physically if at all. The property was picked for its location near the commercial business on Rt. 125. The Veteran can in their attempt to move back into society get a job at minim wage and 1/3 of the earned income goes to the VRC. The VRC will have a signed contract of this and the suggestion that 50% is given as the excess over the 1/3 is put into a savings account for when they leave. The 1/3 is a token amount because of the minimum wage that they are getting but will inspire them to if they get back into a good paying future to move on and let the next veteran have their spot. Every fourth cabin will be a rental unit to a veteran that is looking for a low rent while they are in school or just getting back. This rent will pay for the heat, electric and up keep for the other cabins.
There are other solutions to the problem of homeless Veterans on the streets of NH. The Harbor Homes, Liberty house and others I am working with but they address the problem from societies solution. Give the Veteran a bed and get them into programs to address the effects of war through their (societies) view. These are solutions that the main part of society believes in. These are good solutions for each veteran is different and has lived combat in their own unique manner. Some Veterans are helped in just the way that they needed by these existing solutions. Each Veteran and Each combat experience is unique and we perceive to help through giving each veteran their own home and work with them at their own speed to come home. The why or why not is that I lived this life and I learned that a Vietnam friend reaching out, by giving me my own space and time brought me back and now I am trying to do what my friend did for others. The Proto type of tiny 8’x16’ cabins maybe one day will be in the back yards of other citizens to house a homeless Veteran. Think of it a nation where the average home owner reaches out with out question to help the Hero that once went off to protect and defend our Constitution and came back to a world they did not belong.
101 Stepping Stone Rd
Lee NH 03824
Type your paragraph here.