PLATINUM2023

Veterans Community Project

An oath to serve all who served us.

Kansas City, MO   |  www.veteranscommunityproject.org

Mission

Veterans Community Project is dedicated to supporting every man and woman who took oath for our country. We are determined to make a difference in the lives of homeless Veterans, a task accomplished by the community, for the community.

Ruling year info

2016

Chief Executive Officer

Bryan Meyer

Main address

8900 Troost Avenue

Kansas City, MO 64131 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

47-4960735

NTEE code info

Housing Development, Construction, Management (L20)

Homeless Services/Centers (P85)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (S01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

According to the US Interagency Council on Homelessness, the State of Missouri has over 450 or more Veterans experiencing homelessness at any given time. This reported number is exceptionally low given that most projections are extracted, or based off, the annual Point in Time count. The Point in Time count in 2020 estimated that there are 78 homeless households that include Veterans within the St. Louis community, making up 12% of all homeless households within the St. Louis continuum of care. These reported numbers are considered conservative since the annual Point in Time count is only a one-night sampling of those experiencing homelessness. More than likely the number of homeless overall, and the actual number of homeless Veterans, are much higher than reported.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

VCP Village - Transitional Housing

Through VCP Village in Kansas City, MO, made up of 49 tiny homes, VCP provides transitional housing and individualized case management for residents. In contrast to traditional homeless services, a tiny home provides a Veteran with privacy, a sense of security, and the ability to reintegrate at a comfortable pace. Each tiny home is 240 square feet (320 square feet for family homes) and features a bed, small kitchen, and bathroom. Every detail of the homes has been designed with Veterans' needs in mind, including placement of doors and windows, to increase a sense of security for those who have been impacted by post-traumatic stress.

The homes are built on a concrete foundation and meet coding requirements of new construction and connect to city sewer, water, and electric services. Veteran services for the residents are facilitated through an onsite Community Center that provides mentoring, case management, counseling, and linkage to other programs and services; promotes the physical and overall wellness of residents; maximizes each Veteran’s self-sufficiency; and supports residents’ recovery. VCP moves at the Veteran’s pace with each Veteran receiving an individualized care program designed specifically to meet that individual’s need(s). VCP strives to address the root causes of homelessness by providing longer-term, intensive health, wellness, self-sufficiency, and community engagement services.

A key outcome for the program is to move resident Veterans, who were homeless, to become ready to move into and remain in permanent housing options.

We expect to serve 75-100 Veterans each year at VCP Village-KC. To find new residents, VCP takes referrals from existing homeless service providers; we meet Veterans weekly through our walk-in program; and we also conduct consistent street outreach to identify those who are currently street homeless. We assess and prioritize potential residents based on their vulnerability to homelessness with those most vulnerable receiving high priority.

VCP Village-Longmont (just north of Denver, CO) is expected to begin construction in spring 2021 and move in Veterans into the first completed of houses by late fall. Twenty-six homes will be built there. VCP Village-St. Louis could be on track for a similar timeline and will have 50 homes.

Population(s) Served
Veterans

VCP’s coordinated outreach services impact Veterans daily through its Veterans Outreach Centers.

The Veterans Outreach Center in Kansas City provides approximately 1,000 Veterans a year with career counseling, navigation of the Veterans Affairs (VA) system, legal matters, housing/utility assistance, addiction intervention, food, clothing, and transportation assistance.

Through the Outreach Program, Veterans can access VCP’s Emergency Assistance Funding (EAF). This is provided on an application basis to Veterans seeking immediate, emergency financial relief such as car repair, utility assistance, rent in arrears, and more. This emergency support is often the difference between homelessness and remaining housed. Emergency assistance is prioritized and focused on housing stability. In other words, if a Veteran is at-risk of eviction or foreclosure, those Veterans are prioritized.

VCP has worked tirelessly to respond to Veterans who have been the hardest hit by COVID-19 and are the most vulnerable to the impacts of economic recessions, illness, and housing instability. The EAF has increased to meet demands that are more intensive with more emergent situations.

From May – November 2020, this support has prevented 300+ Veterans from becoming homeless. We anticipate the need for this growing as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to the impact economic stability of thousands of Veterans across the country.

An important facet of the Veterans Outreach services program in Kansas City is the administration of a Veteran bus pass program. This first-of-its-kind partnership with the Kansas City Area Transit Authority allows Veterans to receive a free bus pass that provides free transportation to the holder for up to three years.

Transportation access will be critical in each community in which we have a presence. While someone may come to us for a bus pass or even emergency gas money, in working with the Veteran, staff is provided a natural avenue to screen veterans for additional service needs and link them into internal and external resources.

Through collaboration and partnerships, VCP can fulfill its mission by supporting every Veteran that walks through the door. VCP provides broad-based information and referral linkage to supportive resources. These Veterans visit our office, tell their story, and access assistance and linkage to community resources.

VCP has been serving Veterans in Longmont, CO through street outreach and community referrals for the last several months and in early 2021, VCP will open a physical location for Longmont’s Veterans Outreach Center. In its first year, we anticipate serving 200-300 Veterans in need in the Longmont and surrounding area.
The Veterans Outreach Center in St. Louis will be built on the same site as VCP Village; exact timing for outreach services in that community is still pending.

Population(s) Served
Veterans

When VCP’s co-founders were getting their dream project (VCP) off the ground, they never imagined that the model they developed would grow outside their hometown of Kansas City. Then in 2017, Veterans Community Project received numerous local awards and was featured on the cover of VFW magazine. In 2018, we were featured in Time magazine and one of our co-founders was honored as one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes.

With the media coverage, came hundreds of requests from across the country wanting to know how to bring VCP’s model to their city. In 2019, Reader’s Digest featured VCP; one of our co-founders starred in Season 4, Episode 7 of Netflix’s hit series ‘Queer Eye;’ three presidential candidates toured VCP-KC on the campaign trail; and Jason Kander, former Missouri Secretary of State and Veteran, signed on to lead VCP’s expansion which was reported by every major television network and newspaper in the country.

With the mission of doing for the nation what it has done for Kansas City, VCP set a goal for the first phase of the National Expansion: to serve 8 communities by 2022. Ultimately, VCP’s goal is to solve Veteran homelessness nationwide.

The National Expansion program starts by raising awareness of the need for transitional housing and wrap around services in communities across the United States where VCP is not already established. As city officials in these communities come to understand how important the work is, Veterans Community Project will move forward with due diligence to determine feasibility of the program in the respective communities.

When VCP has determined a location is suitable and sustainable, it will: work with local partners to construct the homes and community center, identify locations for an Outreach Center, establish relationships with partner agencies, locate and begin establishing a level of trust with homeless and/or near homeless Veterans, hire and train staff, and provide ongoing guidance and support.

Population(s) Served
Veterans

Where we work

Awards

Newman's Own Award 2020

Newman's Own

Non-Profits on Fire Award 2019

HillVets

Southtown Foundation Award 2019

Southtown Foundation

Good Neighbor Award (to co-founder Mark Solomon) 2019

National Association of Realtors

Local Hero Award (to co-founder Bryan Meyer) 2019

Ingram's

Neighborhood Builders Award 2018

Bank of America

Silver Star Families of America Award 2018

Silver Star Families of America

Top 10 CNN Heroes Award (to co-founder Chris Stout) 2018

CNN

Rosa Parks Spirit Award 2017

Kansas City Area Transit Authority

Community Impact Award 2017

American Institute of Architects

Philly Award of Distinction 2017

Non-Profit Connect

Short Video Silver Philly Award 2017

Non-Profit Connect

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of veterans prepared for life outside of Veterans Community Project's VCP Village.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Veterans

Related Program

VCP Village - Transitional Housing

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We started housing Veterans and assisting them on their journey towards "permanent housing readiness" in 2018.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Veterans

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Number of unduplicated Veterans served.

Number of clinic visits provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Veterans

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Number of visits to VCP for services.

Average number of service recipients per month

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Military personnel

Related Program

Veteran Outreach Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of service recipients who are employed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Military personnel

Related Program

Veteran Outreach Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Veterans Community Project (VCP) is an innovative approach to address and end homelessness for Veterans. VCP has three primary goals supported with programs, funding and staff needed to accomplish them.

1. Veterans Outreach - VCP provides emergency assistance, food, snack and hygiene bags, clothing and other direct assistance to Veterans and families within the community have are experiencing a crisis or situation that could threaten housing stability.
2. Tiny Village Transitional Housing - Each village provides Veterans and/or Veterans and their families with

Veterans Community Project uses the combination of housing stability and onsite services within the VCP Village to lead Veteran residents to more successful permanent housing outcomes. While living in the village, the Veterans Support Services (VSS) team works daily to help ameliorate the causes of their homelessness and move them toward permanent housing readiness. VCP employs a 12-month post housing transition process for all Veterans transitioning out of the VCP Village, because the goal is for all Veterans transitioning to maintain housing.
Within the Outreach Center, serving all Veterans who walk through the door is the key goal – Veterans Community Project’s extensive local partnerships are key to achieving this goal.

Furthermore, VCP’s strives to collaborate and not compete with other social services and it therefore partners with many service agencies already providing wraparound services to populations in need.

Before creating VCP, the founders surveyed the homeless Veteran population to determine what system they believed would work for them and determine why many of them choose to remain on the street rather than enter into existing programs. The feedback from those individuals was used to help guide the creation of VCP’s model. Through the model established at VCP, the organization has become the primary source of support for a forgotten and excluded homeless population in the Kansas City area through its partnerships and services.

VCP was founded to help remedy issues that Veterans face related to their housing and the difficulty in which it is to pursue mental, physical, and behavioral health services. To accomplish VCP’s mission, VCP provides services to homeless Veterans and Veterans in need through two key programs – its VCP Village and Outreach Center. VCP is diligent in its data gathering and has set-up evaluation systems to collect and evaluate data on the Veterans served through the Veteran Services program to make adjustments and improvements to have a greater impact on Veterans in need.

VCP is unique in that it doesn’t compete with other local organizations, instead it collaborates with nearby service agencies to provide the best services to every Veteran who walks through the door. Additionally, VCP is unique in its ability to serve every Veteran, because its definition of Veteran is broad and includes all who took an oath to serve the country. While other organizations are limited in who they can serve, VCP can and does serve any Veteran they meet, therefore creating a space for all Veterans to get the help they need.

Veterans Community Project has built the nation’s first tiny home village comprised of 49 tiny homes that: serves formerly homeless Veterans; is within city limits; offers homes which are built on a concrete foundation and meet coding requirements; connect to city sewer, water, and electric services; offers a kitchen and bathroom in each home; and that provides intensive wrap-around services to Veterans living in the Village during their stay. Since the VCP Village was constructed in 2018, the agency has transitioned more than 40 formerly homeless vets - over 75% of its residents - into permanent housing.

Additionally, VCP has provided services to 4,100 unique Veterans through its Veterans Outreach Center and these Veterans have come to VCP for services nearly 6,800 times.

VCP plans to build a tiny home village and offer outreach services in eight cities by 2022 with Longmont, CO and St. Louis, MO as the first two expansion sites.

In its hometown of Kansas City, VCP recently unveiled plans to develop a new Veterans Navigation Campus over the course of the next 5 years. The campus will harness the collective power of Kansas City's Veteran services community to provide targeted, comprehensive care for Veterans in one setting. By greatly reducing barriers to access, VCP strives to not only prevent Veteran homelessness but radically impact the crisis of Veteran suicide in our community.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve

Financials

Veterans Community Project
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Veterans Community Project

Board of directors
as of 06/29/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Robert Reymond

Burns & McDonnell

Term: 2020 -

Mark Solomon

VCP Co-Founder/Kellar Williams Realty

Robert Jason Thomas

Bank of America

Caleb Jackson

David Woods Kemper Veterans Foundation

Stephen Webber

Veteran

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/16/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/13/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.