Nonprofit working to set up tiny house village for homeless veterans

By LEA RIZZO, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 8/9/17

One Walker County nonprofit organization that has been working to assist homeless veterans is now looking to set up a tiny house village to help vets in need.

Forever and Always Patriots is working to raise funds and purchase tiny houses to …

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Nonprofit working to set up tiny house village for homeless veterans

Posted

One Walker County nonprofit organization that has been working to assist homeless veterans is now looking to set up a tiny house village to help vets in need.

Forever and Always Patriots is working to raise funds and purchase tiny houses to eventually set up their “village.”

“We’re going to do a series of tiny homes that the veterans will transition to, to get them used to living in civilian life again,” said Michelle Phillips, one of the founders of the organization. “We actually already have our very first tiny home.”

The inside of the house the organization currently has, which is 14 feet by 40 feet, will be finished by B.J. and Amanda Phillips, also known as the Flippin’ Family, and Jonathan Stewart of Stewart Roofing. Phillips said this group will come in and take care of the wiring, dry wall and painting, among other things.

Once the veterans village takes off, there will be several activities at the village, including gardening and farming, as well as job skill training.

“We’re going to [build] a garage and we have some retired mechanics who have dedicated time to us once it’s built and they’ll come and teach [the veterans] skills and trades,” Phillips explained.

She said they’re hoping to be able to put the village on five acres of land near the Walker/Blount county line but they’re still looking for land.

Phillips stressed that all money raised by Forever and Always Patriots, which recently received 501c3 status, goes towards helping veterans.

“We are 100 percent nonprofit,” she said. “None of our board members or volunteers are paid. Every penny we make or donation we get goes strictly to veterans.”

Forever and Always Patriots will be holding its first big fundraiser, a car show, on Saturday, Sept. 2, from noon until 4 p.m. at 325 Highway 78 in Sumiton, across from Sonic.

Early registration for the car show costs $15 and day-of registration is $20. Those interested can register from now through the day of the event. The first 25 entrants will receive a free T-shirt. There will also be balloon animals, face painting and snow cones, among other things, available at the event.

The money raised at the event will go towards paying for land as well as purchasing more tiny homes, with Phillips saying they could eventually have over 20 in their village.

Forever and Always Patriots was born from the combination of Always and Forever a Daddy’s Girl and 1914 Patriots.

Phillips founded Always and Forever a Daddy’s Girl in honor of her late father, Larry Phillips, who was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps.

She started the organization in an effort to help homeless veterans in Walker County because there are not many resources for them in the county.

She met Karla Albertus, founder of 1914 Patriots, late last year while holding a clothing drive for veterans and “we realized that together we could do bigger and better things,” Phillips said.

Those interested in contacting the group can email foreverandalwayspatriots@gmail.com, send a message through the Forever and Always Patriots Facebook page or visit their offices at 325 U.S. Highway 78 in Sumiton in the back of Vapors 4 You.