Tiny home village for older veterans taking shape in Lakeland

- Tiny houses are trendy, ultra space-efficient, and downright cool.

Those are just a few reasons Lakeland Habitat for Humanity plans to build 30 of them for older veterans, just south of State Road 60 in Mulberry.

The community will be called Fleming Platoon, after the family that donated the land.

“I am still in awe. I am still so shocked when I think about it’s actually happening,” said Executive Director of Habitat in Lakeland Claire Twomey.

Twomey came up with the idea, almost out of frustration. She says many older veterans would come in asking for help with home repairs, but she had to tell them that their house was so dilapidated, it was not worth repairing.

Consider the dilemma of a man we’re calling Charlie.

“After the last storm, he has one room in his house that is livable and that is the bathroom, and that’s where he is living,” explained Twomey.

To help Charlie, Twomey conjured up a little community where veterans could go and live with people with whom they have a lot in common. 

“I want it to be a place where they’re happy,” said Twomey. “That they are excited to come home. That they’re excited to be able to feel safe and talk with their neighbors.”

The homes will be about 600 square feet, with two bedrooms and a porch.

Habitat also plans on building a community center and a place where vets could go for medical care.

So far, five of the 30 homes have been sponsored. Habitat is looking for donors to help pay for the rest.

The first residents are scheduled to move in a year from now.

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