Veterans Rebuild Their Lives in Shipping Container Homes
US veterans of war are being given a second chance in life by being able to build their own shipping container homes and then, once they have moved up the housing ladder, to rent them out to their fellows.
While the advertising to fight for your country in the United States can be pretty good – free healthcare for life and even a free university education through the GI Act – the reality for thousands of US veterans is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), homelessness and a life fighting just to survive.
In Houston Texas it is estimated that there are 537 homeless ‘vets’ on the streets in that city alone. Among US vets nationwide, life gets so bad that there are an average of 22 suicides a day, a death rate that was higher than the rate of those killed in Afghanistan when the war was at its hottest.
America has its weaknesses but it does revere those who fight for its interests – certainly among the public. Charities across the US are also doing amazing things from researching new treatments, to novel ways of getting these guys and gals on their feet again.
Enter the Green Zone
Founded in Houston Texas, is about giving veterans that vital first step toward recovery. The idea is to convert shipping containers into tiny homes and use that home as a base to learn new skills, recuperate from trauma and then move onto property ownership and a new life.
According to the website, “Our new members will be project managers of their own home construction. The cost of building these houses is minimal as they will be made from shipping containers. All the veterans have to pay to earn their homes is “Sweat Equity.”
The site continues, “While constructing these new homes, veteran project managers will be exposed to various trades such as welding, plumbing, electrical, and finishing work. Each homeowner will then assist incoming veterans to build their homes,” developing a community and hopefully getting a taste of the esprit de corps that bind military life so well and enables young men to do amazing things in the teeth of battle.
Another important factor is that those who might not have trades, like plumbing and other building skills, can learn them on the job. Once you have a trade you never go hungry, so they say and this can really help people further along on their path to recovery.
The Green Zone is looking to buy a tract of land in Montgomery County, around 50 miles north of Houston which is a centre of homeless veterans already. The idea is that this would become a therapeutic community with gym, community facilities, as well as a group of shipping container homes for those who only recently had nothing.
Mark Cook, co-founder of the Green Zone told the Houston Chronicle “I’m looking for a place that can have a community to help each other in recovery.”
Given that veterans all say that unless you have been to the hell of war you cannot possibly understand what it is to be there, this idea is well-founded as they will be surrounded by people who have.
See a documentary about the project here:
Gateway Container Sales
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