Veterans Community Project celebrates finished community center
May 26—As construction continues on Longmont's tiny home village for veterans, Veterans Community Project staff celebrated a major benchmark last week — the completion of the community center.
Sitting prominently in the middle of the village, the 3,000-square-foot building will serve as a gathering area for residents and a base for case managers, who will work with residents individually to promote wellness, financial literacy and more.
Construction on the center began in June, but VCP Longmont Executive Director Jennifer Seybold said the process stretches back to 2019 when the land was first acquired.
"I think it's emotional for everybody," Seybold said of the center's completion.
VCP Longmont is one of several villages throughout the country established by the nonprofit. The organization's Longmont location at 3095 Mountain Brook Drive will feature 26 tiny homes for veterans struggling with homelessness to live in for free.
On May 18, VCP Longmont held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the center's completion. Despite rain, Seybold said a lot of people came out to support the milestone, including Longmont City Manager Harold Dominguez and Mayor Joan Peck.
"It felt great to have our community partners coming out in that weather," said Ash Wallis, director of veteran support services. "I was really surprised, but, obviously, they love what we do."
The center's first floor has offices for the three on-site case managers as well as a conference room, kitchen and a spacious communal room containing a couch and coffee bar. The communal room will host educational classes provided by local partners aimed at improving veterans' life skills.
"(It's for) residential connection, but also connecting with outside members of our community, too," Seybold said.
The second floor is a space for VCP staff, complete with a few offices that overlook the village. The walls of both floors are painted navy and white, reflecting the nonprofit's theme colors.
In addition to being a social hub for the village, the center is also a power hub. Utilities, such as electricity and gas for the tiny homes, will be distributed from the community center, which is why the VCP team prioritized its completion over the houses.
"The rest will go fairly quickly, from this point," said Jordon Daniel, construction and operations coordinator.
Seybold said the village is hoping to see its first resident move in during the second half of the summer. Staff plan to house homeless veterans incrementally as the homes continue to be built, with a goal of having construction finished by the end of this year.
The community center is now included in tours of the village, which are held every other Wednesday. To sign up for a tour session, visit the VCP website at veteranscommunityproject.org.