Memorial Day has served as a day of remembrance for those who have given their lives in service to our country, in one form or another, since the Civil War. This year, CrossRoads celebrated this holiday differently. Along with Awake Ministries, Veterans Club INC, and Veterans Rural Outreach, CrossRoads celebrated the completion of the Veterans Village.
Veterans Village has been an ongoing project with various partner organizations in Shelbyville, KY. CrossRoads helped build six tiny homes and renovate a community center that will serve as housing and communal areas for classes and other programs to assist veterans looking for help. “Whether it’s something major or it’s something minor that they need to overcome, we just want to do life with them and help them through that,” Jeremy Harrel, CEO of Veterans Club, explained in a TV interview.
Many veterans have difficulty adjusting back to civilian life after serving in the military. Homelessness is prevalent and is a problem CrossRoads felt we could help fix. The six tiny homes serve as housing for veterans who are looking to improve themselves. Last year one such veteran moved into one of the tiny homes. Tim had been spending many of his nights in a truck stop bathroom, using a handrail as a pillow to get a few hours of sleep. Tim’s story is not unique, and many veterans are seeking the help that Veterans Village provides. “It’s been a lifesaver for me,” said Barbra Kenny, another resident. “I don’t want people to be afraid to ask for help when they need help.”
The community center next to the tiny homes is a communal space for the residents of Veterans Village and offers programming from Veterans Club. According to their website, “This programming will include a nationally recognized Equine Therapy Program, onsite support groups for PTSD, depression, and substance abuse, recreational therapy modalities and more.” These classes and programs offerings help veterans readjust to society and live on their own by learning about budgets, cooking, resumes, and more.
There are also veterans who have come to help others in the village, like Ross, who has moved on after living in a tiny home for seven months. “I plan on coming down and helping the other veterans out,” said Ross. “There’s other ones that have been before me and have already moved out and are doing well. Yeah, we just keep going.”