The men and women who have bravely served our country as members of the U.S. Armed Forces account for about nineteen million people which is less than 10% of our country’s population but have fought and provided safety for tens of millions here in the United States and all over the world. This unique and extraordinary group of people have sacrificed their safety, suffered permanent physical and mental disability and in some cases have even lost their lives.
Among these major challenges that veterans face after they leave the military the most common are unemployment and homelessness. Our country has relied on the resources of The Department of Veterans Affairs known as the VA, who has traditionally been responsible with helping to provide medical, educational, and home assistance to those attempting to transition back into everyday life, however, they have not been able to support every Veteran in need.
The Veterans Community Project founded in 2016 by a group of Combat Veterans in Kansas City, Missouri, vowed to work to resolve the service void due to government policy guidelines and procedures that have left their fellow Veterans overlooked and behind. These dedicated Veterans help provide housing for other Veterans, armed with the strength and support of numerous community partners.
This grassroots group of Veterans goal is to aim to say “Yes” to any Veteran in need, helping them to achieve self-sufficiency and housing stability, regardless of discharge status.
Since 2020, VCP Longmont has served three hundred Veterans across the Front Range and housed forty through walk-in services, agencies, and street outreach. VCP provides one-on-one case management through evidence informed tools connecting Veterans and their families to a network of more than forty-five service partners and building pathways to independence and stable housing. Additionally, VCP distributes Emergency Assistance Funds for rent and utilities and other necessities.
In the year ahead, VCP will continue to support Veterans through services at the outreach center in Longmont and add a 26-unit tiny home transitional housing village with a 3,000 square foot Village Community Center where Veterans will access on site weekly Case Management services and engage in community.
The VCP Village provides everything a Veteran needs to live with dignity and safety; trauma-informed design with new furniture, appliances, housewares, bedding, and utilities, free of charge. Once each Veteran’s desired goals are met, VCP assists each Veteran in securing a permanent housing solution and continues follow-up case management for a year. Each Veteran is allowed to take the entire contents of his or her tiny home as they transition to a new life.
Jennifer Seybold, a Colorado Springs native, is the Executive Director for the Veterans Community Project. Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership with specializations in non-profit management and small business entrepreneurship.
Jennifer has been an impactful leader serving the Denver and Metro Area Community for over 10 years with several non-profit Colorado organizations. Her passion and desire to do more to help those experiencing homeless, grew from very personal reasons and expanded when she served for two years as the Executive Director of Cold Weather Care, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering homeless individuals and families in Adams County, Colorado to help them regain control of their lives.
She is dedicated to serving marginalized and high-risk populations and has helped many organizations with the same dedication to find and implement solutions to overcome significant obstacles by developing community partnerships that built strong, long-term support for causes and position organizations that truly make a difference.
Jennifer lives in Longmont and is a dedicated mother to her three daughters, Hale, Shelby and Skyler. She sits down with Tish Beauford on “A Public Affair” to discuss the Veterans Community Project, their Tiny Homes Village, Community Center their future and expanding their services beyond Colorado.
More information about the Veterans Community Project is available at their website.