Veterans Community Project
8900 Troost Avenue
Kansas City MO 64131
Veterans Village
Mission Statement
To end veteran homelessness and to promote housing stability in the Kansas City metro region. We will accomplish this by connecting veterans, not qualified for existing programs, to social services through the development of a community of tiny houses to be used as transitional housing, along with on-site, intensive case management. Our mission is distinguished from other providers by the following characteristics:
  • Outreach onto the streets
  • Crisis stabilization
  • Each Veteran has their own living space
  • Establish a community of Veterans supporting each other
  • Low case management loads
  • Tailored services and treatment plan
  • Veterans socialize and reintegrate at their own pace
  • Mentor program
  • Transition out of services
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Christopher Stout
Board Chair Ms. Teresa Loar
Board Chair Company Affiliation KCMO City Council
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2015
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement
To end veteran homelessness and to promote housing stability in the Kansas City metro region. We will accomplish this by connecting veterans, not qualified for existing programs, to social services through the development of a community of tiny houses to be used as transitional housing, along with on-site, intensive case management. Our mission is distinguished from other providers by the following characteristics:
  • Outreach onto the streets
  • Crisis stabilization
  • Each Veteran has their own living space
  • Establish a community of Veterans supporting each other
  • Low case management loads
  • Tailored services and treatment plan
  • Veterans socialize and reintegrate at their own pace
  • Mentor program
  • Transition out of services
Background Statement
Our founding core are retired military veterans, who have worked for different social service agencies in the KC metro region, and observed limitations imposed by well-meaning, but constrained service providers. In particular, we saw a large number of military veterans, many too proud or embarrassed to acknowledge their background in the face of acute or chronic difficulties, get turned away from housing, mental health, and employment assistance services.
 
With an understanding of the military mindset and perspective, as well as inside knowledge of the workings and shortcomings of social service agencies, we outlined a plan to address the specific needs of the hundreds of homeless, unemployed vets living on the streets in Kansas City. These needs extended from the very basic food, water, sleep and shelter requirements, to a higher-level sense of belonging to a community with close friendships. This last point struck a nerve in each of us, because in the military there is a strong sense of camaraderie, of taking care of one another through difficult circumstances, of kinship. How could we not take care of our brothers and sisters in need?
 
We saw how substance abuse and post-traumatic stress frequently interferes with satisfying these direct needs, which resulted in a loss of self-esteem, confidence and respect, and a downward spiral towards the impaired problem solving abilities and moral decision-making. We vowed to help our brothers and sisters; all those who at one point also took a vow to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
 
We incorporated in Missouri, and then received our IRS Determination Letter to operate as a 501[c]3 in September of 2015.
Our plan centers on the creation and establishment of a community of and for veterans. We sought to create a space that could serve as a transition from rough living to one that is secure and stable, and provides social supports and a sense of camaraderie. Small, personal living spaces, in the form of self-contained “Tiny Houses” serve those needs. The City of Kansas City, Missouri was approached regarding available land at 89th and Troost in KCMO, and a generous package that included the land and utilities infrastructure at reduced cost was negotiated.
Impact Statement
Top Accomplishments:
  1. Secured funding and purchased 4.2 acres of property to establish  “Veteran’s Village” in Kansas City, MO.
  2. Obtained funding for sewer, water and infrastructure development on the property.
  3. Acquired commitments of service for Master Plan development, planning and zoning permits, surveys, geological studies, and engineering tests and inspections.
  4. Purchased, renovated and opened a VCP Outreach Center located at 8900 Troost Ave., where we are serving Veterans daily.
  5. Built 10 tiny homes and obtained significant local and national media exposure. 
 
Goals For Current Year:
  1. Complete construction on Veterans Village infrastructure and 40 remaining tiny homes.
  2. Finish developing and implement Clinical Services Plan
  3. Secure funding and begin construction on 4,600 sq. ft. Community Center that will be located on-site of Veterans Village.  This facility will provide medical, mental health and dental services and includes a barbershop, laundry, pet washing station, a full service kitchen and a large multi-purpose room.
  4. All 50 tiny homes occupied with Veterans.
Needs Statement
  1. Secure funding for the Community Center at Veterans Village.  
  2. Hire an experienced Clinical Director and Case Managers to help VCP run programs once Veterans Village is open.
  3. Complete fundraising efforts for infrastructure construction of Veterans Village.
  4. Hire on-site Facilities Manager who will live on the property and be available 24 hours for any needs that arise.
  5. Secure sponsorships for the remaining tiny houses in Veterans Village ($15,000).
Service Categories
Housing Development, Construction & Management
Homeless Services/Centers
Alliances & Advocacy
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
I’ve seen repeated instances in the KC metro region where homeless service members were turned away from much-needed help because of definitions and rules imposed by grants and government contracts. Many times vets were determined ineligible for VA housing programs because they were either discharged under the “don’t-ask-don’t tell” policy, or had served in the National Guard or as Reservists but had never been deployed. Often, these veterans had simpler needs that we couldn’t fulfill because of imposed spending constraints.
 
More troubling to me were the times when I encountered homeless Vietnam vets with severe PTSD who refused to go to the VA because of bad experiences, or who had been discharged for mental health reasons and had never received post-service care. Many of these were reluctant to identify as ex-military because of lingering distrust, frequently exacerbated by drug and alcohol abuse.
 
In all cases, there was no social support. These vets felt isolated; without family or community. In those instances where they had received some help, there was no follow up; there was no case management to ensure that they attended outpatient treatment sessions and meetings. Colleagues in other social service organizations echoed these observations.
 
The most difficult to help are those vets who are right on the ragged edge of homelessness.
 
From our experiences, it was not surprising to my colleagues and I that the federally-mandated annual survey of homeless individuals in the greater Kansas City area, the ‘Point-in-Time Homeless Count’ identified only 88 homeless veterans, and that ‘official’ count was repeated to indicate that the City was doing very well in that regard. That single day and single evening count in late January by volunteers visiting homeless camps, libraries and the City Union Mission relied on homeless self reporting their veteran status, and as mentioned, many are reluctant to identify as ex-military. The numbers also do not reflect those who were couch-surfing, living in cars or other atypical places. We believe the accurate number of homeless veterans is deep into the hundreds, not taking into consideration those close to homelessness who also need help.
 
We started the Veterans Community Project to address these challenges, and believe that there is enthusiastic support. 
Programs
Description
Our first program project is to build and maintain a community of fifty-two 240 sq’ structures to house homeless Veterans in Kansas City. This addresses one of the top priorities noted in a recent publication by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (http://www.nchv.org/). That is, the need for secure, safe, clean housing that offers a supportive environment.
 
The starting point is a 5-acre rolling lot covered with overgrown trees and weeds. With a small army of volunteers from the community, we cleared the land (saving many large, 100 year old shade trees).
 
The end result is a small housing tract of transitional homes for veterans, living with and supported by fellow veterans in a structured, substance-free environment. Rather than being warehoused in cramped overcrowded facilities, this personal living space with food, a shower, electricity and a bed will permit the vet to socialize at a thoughtful, comfortable pace.
Category Housing, General/Other Affordable Housing
Population Served Veterans, ,
Short-Term Success
  • A shower, clean clothes, a nutritious meal, and a good night’s sleep will clear one’s head of those very basic concerns. A stable base of operations among comrades will provide a sense of belonging to a society, bonded by proximity, circumstances and training.
  • The psychophysiological benefits are incalculable. We can anticipate that relief of the burden, the pressure, the anxiety to satisfy the most basic human needs will, in parallel, result in the reduction of behaviors intended to block some of the emotional pains associated with unfulfilled basic needs, i.e., alcohol and other psychotropic compound abuse.
  • We further anticipate a positive feed-forward loop in the attitude and demeanor of veterans who otherwise may have given up the thought of returning to society as a productive, contributing member.
Long-Term Success
Our program is designed with the long-term objective of eliminating military veteran homelessness in the Kansas City metro region. The first step in that process is to provide temporary shelter that honors their dignity and respects their humanity.
Program Success Monitored By
We will consider this program project successful when we see fifty-two Tiny Homes fully built and fully functional in Veteran’s Village. This phase of effort is really a construction project to get ready for occupation by vets in need. We extend the benefits of this physical intervention, in the absence of social and clinical intervention, to demonstrate the enormous contribution to client well being by simply having a personal space to temporarily call their home. In fact, the space and treatment/services are intertwined.
Examples of Program Success
Based on our collective experience in the social service industry, we can predict a high rate of return on investment to create Veteran’s Village. We foresee a high occupancy rate, which will in turn relieve some of the burden on other social service agencies in the area. Compared to living rough, a tiny house will seem palatial, and will help to reestablish a sense of confidence, self esteem, and respect in the veteran. As indicated in the following section, we further believe that the unique combination we offer will result in satisfying metrics of success; the primary metric being to help veterans get into stable housing permanently.
Description
In order to identify those requiring transitional living or other social services, we reach out into the community to places where homeless vets gather. Case managers visit known campsites around the city, establishing relationships with vets as well as with other service providers that operate in the same locality, who may have prior knowledge of vets with needs.
 
Those that present with a medical, mental health, substance abuse, or addictive crisis will be triaged and evaluated by the Clinical Director, and will take first priority for referral to appropriate agencies for stabilization, i.e., a detoxification facility. Those in no acute distress will be examined by the Case Manager who will evaluate the vets needs for identification, transportation, housing, counseling, employment, mental health support, substance and post-traumatic stress disorder support, social and other living needs. An Agreement is drawn up that sets treatment goals requiring active participation from the Veteran, and acts as a guiding document while the vet is in residence.
Category Human Services, General/Other Services for Specific Populations
Population Served Veterans, ,
Short-Term Success
  • In the short-term our expectation is that homeless vets will be surprised that there is an organization to specifically help them, staffed by individuals who view and treat them as brothers and sisters. Among the homeless there is a prevalent perspective that society has given up on them as an individual. There is a strong feeling of isolation and being marginalized, which leads to a loss of hope, of an overriding sense of worthlessness, and being a burden to society.
  • As a member of a community of veterans supporting each other, with mentors and a tailored service and treatment plan, guided by case managers who have time to get to know the veteran on a personal level, and help with employment and permanent housing, we predict that vets will no longer feel detached and withdrawn. We strive to build encouragement and a renewed sense of responsibility, of value, and ultimately happiness.
Long-Term Success
The Services and Treatment program has a long-term goal of addressing the underlying reason(s) for the social instability and homelessness. We feel that genuine caring, and a sense of belonging to a larger community who are concerned with the individual’s well-being will inspire confidence, trust and respect that permeates the entire village.
 
Gainful employment, social and emotional stability, and becoming productive members of society are the long-term goals of this program.
Program Success Monitored By
At the top level, we monitor positive outcomes as a function of successful transitions from homelessness and unemployment, to permanent housing placement and satisfaction with placement, steady employment, and continued social interactions within the Veteran’s Community and outside. We will ask members to complete regular surveys that assess their perceptions, successes and failures, and attitudes over time with the intent of interceding before a relapse in negative behavior occurs.
Our service and treatment program intentionally moves away from the typical scenario of a single case manager in charge of 25-30 clients, to one where VCP Case Managers are responsible for only 8-10 veterans. This enables more frequent direct interactions and more time spent with vets. Therefore, Case Managers, Clinical Directors, and Mentors will carefully monitor progress to goals, and will support vets to reach their individual goals.
Examples of Program Success
Based on evidence published in 2013 (Smelson, et al., Psychological Services, Vol 10(2), May 2013, 161-167.), using our supportive housing program we expect to see significant decreases in likelihood to drink to intoxication and use of illicit substances, and that vets will be less likely to experience serious tension or anxiety.
 
This is the first time, to our knowledge, of combining a stable village setting of Tiny Houses with components of outreach, stabilization, and low case management load, to a less-restrictive, inclusive definition of Veteran client. That is, our model is innovative and groundbreaking, and our expectation is a very high success rate.
Description The Veterans Community Project has partnered with the KCATA to provide free bus passes to all Veterans in the Greater Kansas City area.
Program Budget $18,000.00
Category Human Services, General/Other Transportation Assistance
Population Served Veterans, ,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success Maintain steady flow of Veterans coming to Outreach Center to get bus passes.  Average (30 daily).
Long-Term Success All Veterans in the Kansas City community will have access to free transportation.
Program Success Monitored By VCP meets regularly with the KCATA and the KC VA to update progress on the program.
Examples of Program Success The Veterans Ride Free bus pass program was implemented on May 1st, 2017 and as of today, August 8th, 2017, VCP has issued over 2,000 bus passes from its' Outreach Center.  VCP has received significant feedback that Veterans who have been issued bus passes are now able to get to work, attend mental health and medical appointments, spend the money saved on bus fair towards other needs, etc.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. Christopher Stout
Term Start Sept 2015
Experience
  • Chris grew up in Branson, MO and moved to KCMO in 2000. In 2001 he joined the U.S. Army, and deployed to Iraq twice, and once to Afghanistan. He retired in 2008 from wounds received in combat.
  • He serves as the President of VCP, and is on the BOD of Segs4Vets, an organization that provides personal transportation vehicles to vets who've lost limbs while fighting.
  • Chris has 15 years of leadership and management experience in the military, the financial industry, and in non-profits prior to co-founding Veterans Community Project (VCP).
  • He has served as an NPO Case Manager, specializing in homeless vet support and vet-specific resources. He has a degree in Business Management, and advanced leadership training in non-profits, financial services industry, and the Army.
  • Chris served on the Advisory Board for Wounded Warrior Project Peer Mentor Development Committee, and the KC VA Welcome Team for vets returning from war.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start 0
Compensation Last Year
Senior Staff
Title Chief Legal Officer
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 7
Paid Part-Time Staff 2
Volunteers 200
Paid Contractors 0
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Under Development
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistleblower Policy No
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Teresa Loar
Company Affiliation KCMO City Council
Term Feb 2016 to Jan 2019
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Mr. Matthew Bonnet USMC Richards-Gebaur
Ms. Jacque Doan H&R Block
Ms. Mary Eisenhower People to People International
Ms. Teresa Loar KCMO City Council
Ms. Kim Rowland UAW 249
Mr. Mark Solomon VCP Co-Founder/Kellar Williams Realty
Mr. Doug Washington TriCom Technical Services
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1 Asian
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Under Development
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $2,519,000
Projected Expenses $2,328,500
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2016: Financial data reported using the organization's internal financial documents.
Detailed Financials
 
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$145,906----
Administration Expense$79,930----
Fundraising Expense$20,431----
Payments to Affiliates$0----
Total Revenue/Total Expenses2.73----
Program Expense/Total Expenses59%----
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue3%----
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$430,928----
Current Assets$231,027----
Long-Term Liabilities$0----
Current Liabilities$1,817----
Total Net Assets$429,111----
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities127.15----
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%----
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Organization Name Veterans Community Project
Address 8900 Troost Avenue
Kansas City, MO 64131
Primary Phone (816) 876-6594
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Christopher Stout
Board Chair Ms. Teresa Loar
Board Chair Company Affiliation KCMO City Council
Year of Incorporation 2015