An Illinois city is mulling building tiny houses for homeless veterans

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VIDEO: How Nine Line Foundation is building a village of tiny homes for homeless veterans

VIDEO: How Nine Line Foundation is building a village of tiny homes for homeless veterans

BEARDSTOWN — Beardstown City Council is considering building something tiny in hopes of helping homeless or struggling veterans in a big way.

Quincy-based organization 2x4s for HOPE was launched about five years ago to build tiny homes that then are given free to veterans.

Members Billie and Paula Burge will speak Tuesday during the council's committee meeting, giving a presentation on the organization's completed projects in Quincy and Mount Sterling and discussing how Beardstown could move forward with its own 2x4s for HOPE project.

Billie Burge said the organization helps veterans who are homeless or unable to buy their own home by building small, completely furnished houses.

The houses they build are 14 feet by 30 feet and cost roughly $34,000, which is funded through donations, volunteer work and fundraising efforts.

"These are veterans that are struggling financially or are unable to afford their own homes," Burge said. "They deserve to live good lives. We feel our veterans have earned it."

The organization works with communities to raise funding for the homes.

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Two tiny homes for veterans built by 2x4s for HOPE in Quincy, Ill. (2x4 for HOPE website)

After hearing from other communities about the organization's work, council members wanted to learn more about it, Mayor Leslie Harris said.

Harris believes the program could be beneficial for Beardstown, but the council will decide whether to pursue it, she said.

"We have several lots where the houses have been torn down," Harris said. "This is something that could benefit both the veterans and our community."

If the council is interested in going forward with a project, the council would look at zoning ordinances and other city procedures that would affect construction, Harris said.

"I feel in the past, there wasn't enough done for our veterans," she said. "We have a very active VFW and this is something that we can potentially do to help."

After a 2x4s for HOPE home is built and presented to a veteran, the new homeowner is responsible for the home's utilities and property taxes, though the organization can help them connect with assistance resources, if needed.

"There are a lot of struggling veterans in this country," Burge said. "This is hopefully something other communities will start doing."

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