ST. LOUIS ( -- A group behind a tiny plot of land in north St. Louis is hoping to have a big impact on veterans in our area.

It's all part of the Veterans Community Project, a group dedicated to supporting every man and woman who took the oath for our country, trying to make a difference in the lives of homeless veterans.

The St. Louis location will have 52 buildings, 50 of the them tiny homes for veterans. St. Louis is the second expansion location for the project, the first expansion was in Colorado after a successful launch of the effort in Kansas City in 2018. Now the group wants to bring those success stories to St. Louis.

“I found the mission that the Veterans Community Project was serving, was very important,” Rebecca Tallman, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, said.

But after she retired, she wanted to continue serving a greater good.

Tallman said she “found out about Veterans Community Project early in 2017, they came out as one of CNN's Heroes of the Year, one of our founders and I was very passionate about the fact that they were helping homeless individuals as well as veterans, our brothers and sisters that served in arms.”

For Tallman, her mission to serve was passed down through generations.

“I served, my husband retired from the Air Force as well and we have a son who is currently serving in the Air Force," she said. "I had a grandfather who was a Marine, I had a grandfather who was in the Navy, my father served in the Army."

And that family history drove her to find a way to be there for her fellow veterans in any way needed. By the end of next year, the Veterans Community Project plans to have a village of 50 tiny homes for local veterans. When a veteran moves in, the project fully furnishes their new home and they can take almost everything with them when they move out. Even if they don’t take the items when they move out, the group will replace them and then donate the old appliances.

“Because some of those folks have not had something new that is theirs for a really long time, so we give them the ability to lay on a pillow that no one has ever laid on or cook on a stove that no one else has ever cooked on," Tallman said.

Also when a veteran moves in, they will have two weeks worth of groceries ready for them as well as other amenities.

“We have some great local organizations as well like a local quilting group that has quilted quilts for each one of our veterans when they move into the home so they have something of their own,” Tallman said.

So as the mission to house the homeless veterans of St. Louis moves forward, Tallman will continue to stay true to her oath to serve all who served us. 

“What they are doing to serve the community was very important to me. We are helping those that have fallen on hard times and getting them the ability to reclaim their dignity and get back on their feet,” Tallman said.

Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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