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  • Do the Veterans own the homes?
    The Veterans do not own the homes, nor do they pay rent to live there. Instead, the homes are designed to be a temporary sanctuary until Veterans are ready to return to independence. The tiny homes provide stability, and a starting point for Veterans to address the underlying causes of homelessness.
  • How long will a Veteran be permitted to reside at Veterans Grove?
    Veterans are welcome to stay at Veterans Grove as long as they continue to make progress toward their goal of readiness for permanent housing. A VOPA Case Manager will work alongside the Veteran, at each his or her own pace, to develop a plan to help them find permanent housing and attain goals they have identified.
  • How big are the homes, and how many will you build?
    VOPA’s goal is to operate an innovative community of 15 tiny homes. The homes are wood-framed construction built on a concrete slab. They range in size from 168 to 240 square feet, meet all local code requirements, and connect to municipal electricity and plumbing utility services.
  • What is the size and purpose of the Community Center?
    A separate 6,500 sq. ft. Community Center anchors the village with a large kitchen, a dining room to serve residents, lavatory and bathing accommodations, laundry facilities, counseling and therapeutic rooms, and administrative offices.
  • How will you choose the Veterans who will live in the tiny homes?
    An application process ensures Veterans are assessed based on their needs, and prioritized based on those who are most vulnerable. Veterans will be referred through many avenues, to include friends, family, organizations, and self-referrals. To build trusting relationships, we will conduct frequent street outreach to identify Veterans who are currently street homeless.
  • What social services are provided to the Veterans?
    Veterans receive case management through VOPA at least once a week, and possibly more, depending on need. In order to connect the community to the Veteran and the Veteran to the community, we are partnering with local businesses, agencies, nonprofits, and individuals to provide the wraparound support needed to address the needs of each individual. This network of support keeps the Veteran from relying solely on VOPA while showing them that they are capable of self-sufficiency, and the community cares about their well-being.
  • How much traffic do you anticipate?
    Traffic to the site will be minimal. Basically, only staff, volunteers, and deliveries are expected. Family members also are expected during visitation hours.
  • What organizations are collaborating with you?
    We have met with and received support from the following entities: Capital Area Coalition on Homelessness Bethesda Mission Central Pennsylvania Food Bank Dauphin County Veterans Court and Commissioners Downtown Daily Bread Just for Today Recovery and Veterans Support Services YWCA of Greater Harrisburg Goodwill The Sherman Foundation
  • How is VOPA funded?
    VOPA is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that is registered with the PA Department of State. The building project is being funded through a community-based Capital Campaign and on-going fundraising for operational support.
  • How is Veterans Grove staffed?
    VOPA has staff on site 24/7 to ensure the safety of the full-time Veteran residents and guests.
  • Why are you building the village near the river, which has the potential of flooding?
    The site was built up in the past when a steel mill was located on the land many years ago. A recent review by engineers found it to be above the 100-year flood plain, which means that a flood has only a one percent chance of occurring in any given year. This fact, coupled with the proximity to other services the Veterans would need and the beauty of the location, make it an ideal site for VOPA’s Veterans Grove.
  • Why did you choose the tiny home model for the village and why aren’t you including a shower in each tiny home?
    The Veterans living in the community have various challenges to overcome in order to find their footing again. We believe having a safe place away from others in their tiny home where they can relax and sleep will be beneficial to their reintegration into a community. Part of this reintegration process requires the Veterans to interact with others within the tiny home community in order to give and receive support. Rather than make each tiny home self-sufficient, some of their needs, such as laundry, showering, and kitchen facilities, will be located in the Community Center to encourage interaction among the Veterans.
  • Why does it cost so much to build the VOPA tiny home village?
    The site was the location of the old Phoenix Steel Mill and hasn’t been used or developed since the mill was closed and demolished decades ago. Preparing this unique site for development has had some unique challenges and related costs. The process of consulting with experienced engineers and the county planning commission has led to the determination that it is feasible to build the tiny home village on this donated site. Modern utilities, water, and sewer had to be run to the site, and we worked with the city of Harrisburg to ensure the village meets local codes and ordinances.

Frequently Asked Questions

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