FRANKLINVILLE, N.J. (CBS) – Just about three months after acquiring a former campground to house veterans, Amazing Grace Ministries has their first micro-housing unit.
“We had an idea of a 300-square-foot area but to see what it looks like and how big it really is, and remember what are barracks looked like, anyone of us would volunteer to live in here in a heartbeat,” says pastor Donnie Davis.
Davis, a vet who suffers from PTSD, and partner Anthony Raymond say creation of “Operation Safe Haven” on Delsea Drive in Franklinville is picking up pace.
Davis says after seeing Eyewitness News’ story in June about the veteran micro-housing, the 4-U Corporation in Folsom offered to build the units at-cost.
“From that story a local builder called who builds for Habitat for Humanity and said I build modular homes now, I can build you a micro-house,” says Davis.
Each micro-house has a living room, bedroom, full bathroom and kitchenette all in just about 300 square feet.
Davis says Sheet Metal Workers Local 19 has offered to attach the roof and siding for free.
“The houses cost $10,500 to make and can be done in 3 days,” says Davis, “so as we get money we’ll keep buying them until we get to 65.”
The property is 277 wooded acres with a 65 acre lake where homeless or distressed vets could stay in the micro-houses for 24 months as they get their lives together.
Davis and Raymond expect to have the first vet to move in this fall with the help of the South Jersey based People for People Foundation.
“As we encounter veterans who are homeless or in need of getting themselves back on track again we’ll be able to recommend them to Don’s program,” says Bernadette Blackstock, CEO of People for People.