The Longmont Veterans Community Project is close to finishing building 26 tiny homes in Longmont to house homeless veterans and their families. It set a goal to complete the project and move veterans in by the end of 2023, but it won’t get there without a little more help from the community.
Recently the nonprofit conducted and final phase of construction evaluation. It knew it would be short some funds to complete the project, however, the predicted number seemed within its grasp, said Jennifer Seybold, executive director of Longmont VCP.
“This has been a long journey for our community, and we entered this year with the intent that the Village would be complete before the close of the year. This gap threatens to slow that progress down during a time need remains incredibly high. While we’re ready to start moving in our first few Veterans soon, we need to fill our capital gap before we can move in our next set of four, and eventually fill all 26 homes. Our neighbors, our veterans in need, are counting on us coming together to fill this imminent need,” Seybold said.
When VCP staff assessed where they were in the $5.4 million capital campaign budget, they discovered the gap to be much larger than predicted. VCP is now looking at a $900,000 gap to complete the project, Seybold said.
The gap is caused by construction costs that have varied over time. Seybold said there are times when construction material prices would only be guaranteed for a day or two before merchants would have to increase their costs.
“I think a lot of construction companies were falling victim to price increases,” Seybold said. “Since 2020, those costs have risen as much as 40% for various materials and while people can provide us some discounts when they are struggling financially too, we’re having to pay the market rate for a lot of things.”
Between the end of August to the middle of September — depending on city inspections — VCP will move in the first four veterans.
Its original plan was to space out when a group of four veterans took occupancy of a tiny home by four weeks to give new veterans and staff time to acclimate. That timeline for the end of September is currently at risk.
VCP needs an estimated $150,000 a month through the end of the year to finish the tiny home community and to move in homeless veterans. It has launched a “Mind the Gap” campaign that will run until all the remaining funds have been committed, Seybold said.
“VCP believes that Veterans deserve more than just a roof over their heads; they deserve a community that understands their experiences and offers a hand-up. The organization’s efforts have already transformed the lives of hundreds of Veterans through the VCP Outreach Center, and the completion of VCP Village will be another significant step toward eradicating Veteran homelessness,” Seybold said.
Seybold added that the nonprofit does not want to take on massive debt and will choose to slow down the project if the funding is not there to support the initial goal.
Those interested in donating can click here. Should anyone wish to make a larger donation VCP asks that you reach out to Melissa Gruber, director of development via email at [email protected] or via phone at 719-339-2748.