High school students building homes for veterans

Learning lifelong skills while helping the community
Posted at 9:55 PM, Oct 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-18 10:08:27-04

MERIDIAN, ID — In an effort to help create a place of belonging for veterans, theWest Ada School District is teaming up with the Idaho Veterans Chamber of Commerce to build tiny homes for veterans in transition back to society.

Brian Clelandthe special projects facilitator of West Ada School District, who is a veteran himself explained, "We have homeless veterans. We have veterans who are having a hard time getting back into society and it could be from deployments, coming back from overseas, or just transitioning to the civilian world."

According to a 2021 U.S. Census Bureau Survey, over 122,000 veterans live in Idaho. Cleland thinks these kinds of projects will help put a roof over several veterans who are homeless.

Cleland said, "It's just another opportunity for a veteran to find stability and have a place to live to call their own, have a responsibility and get themselves back into society, and have some opportunities."

The homes will be built solely by students of the Career and Technical Education program at Owyhee High School. It's a program that helps students learn skills and trades that they can use once they go into the workforce.

Assistant Principal Judd Benedick chimed in saying, "along with learning those skills and coming out job ready to join a trade, they are also providing things for us as a school, for us as a district, and in the community."

With students still learning the trade, they discussed the timeline and goals that they had set for the program. The plan is to build two homes this school year with hopes that they get to continue to contribute to the cause for many years to come.

If you want to donate or help out you can find more information on this project or many others on the Idaho Veterans Chamber of Commerce website or the West Ada School District website.