ALTAVISTA – Along the ridge that overlooks a 339-acre property of rolling forest, farmland and pasture, a row of tiny houses is under construction, the first phase of a sprawling plan that hopes to see 100 houses built to house veterans over the next few months.
The National Center for Healthy Veterans, nicknamed “Valor Farm” when it opened in November, is an ambitious multi-million dollar project off Wards Road in Altavista.
Led by retired Army Major-General Bob Dees and the retired Brigadier. General Jeff Horne, his goal is to create a center that helps veterans re-enter civilian life, with technical and vocational training, and a three-pronged approach centered on faith, vocation and community life.
The more than $ 30 million project is led by the Stone Ridge Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Dees, who is director of the center and president and CEO of the foundation.
The first village was inaugurated in February and is currently under construction – with four small houses overlooking the sloping green property, the foundations of the next four already completed, in what will ultimately be a community of 20 small single and family houses. surrounding a village community center. The smaller model will measure approximately 309 square feet, the larger 410.
Ultimately, five villages of 20 houses each are planned for the property, with a community center serving as the focal point for each village. At its peak, there would be around 150 veterans and resident farm support staff at any one time, according to the original project proposal, with other veterans and first responders engaged in short stays to attend lectures, short courses and various types of therapy.