Veterans nonprofit acquires land for tiny homes development on Milwaukee’s northwest side

The Gary G. Wetzel Veterans Village. Rendering: Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin

Last updated on July 12th, 2021 at 01:51 pm

A planned tiny home village for homeless and at-risk veterans on Milwaukee’s northwest side is officially underway.

The tiny homes development, led by nonprofit group Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin, will include as many as 48 new homes and a community center at a site located just west of North 60th Street and Green Tree Road on the city’s northwest side.

VOW closed Friday morning on the land sale for the development, which will be named the Gary G. Wetzel Veteran Village. The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee previously owned the 27.6-acre vacant parcel at the southwest corner of the North 60th/Green Tree intersection, which is directly north of the Milwaukee Job Corps Center.

The project is designed to combine housing with supportive services for the veterans. Each unit will be approximately 240 square feet, with its own bed and storage space. A 10,000-square-foot community center will house showers, bathrooms, a communal kitchen and several common areas for veterans to work and relax.

Officials with the city and VOW celebrated the closing signatures and launch of the project Friday. Milwaukee native, U.S. Army veteran and Congressional Medal of Honor Award winner Gary G. Wetzel, who the village is being named after, also attended the event.

“As a 9/11 era U.S. Air Force veteran, the Tiny Homes for Veterans project has been near to my heart,” Ald. Chantia Lewis said. “The gift of a home is priceless, and I know how easy it can be for those who serve to become homeless and lose hope. I see the sacrifices they have made for all of us and how critical it is for us to support those who have served so valiantly for our country.”

VOW operates an existing tiny home village in Racine, which includes 15 tiny homes and a community center at 1624 Yout Street. The group offers amenities such as a full-sized kitchen, bathrooms and a laundry room, and supportive services such as group therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder and alcohol and drug abuse, assistance with work search, financial advice and guidance and housing placement.


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