*Courtesy of WLKY.

Awake Ministries Veterans Village in Shelbyville finally has its first tenants after a year of construction.

The community of tiny houses is for veterans who are experiencing homelessness.

Veteran Karen Major just moved into her tiny home a few days ago. She just completed the 12-step recovery program at Awake Ministries after struggling with addiction.

“It’s been a weight off my shoulders because once finishing the program I could come here and not have to worry about it,” said Major. “Also for my family, I think it’s a weight off of their shoulders because they’re worried about their mom.”

Four of the six tiny homes are completed. The last two just need some final tune ups.

The homes have a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living space, as well as a washer and dryer. The homes are fully furnished and handicapped accessible.

The village was built with the idea of temporary housing up to a year while veterans work to find a permanent home.

Carlen “Doc” Pippen served as project coordinator. He’s also one of the veterans who formed Veteran’s Rural Outreach, a group dedicated to addressing the needs of homeless veterans in Shelby County.

Pippen said through the partnership with Awake Ministries, veterans will receive services that address their physical, mental and spiritual needs.

“A lot of them do come with a background with a hurt, a habit or a hang-up,” said Executive Director of Awake Ministries, Marcia Mithchum. “We find that they need those resources much like the ones that come through our other programs.”

Awake Ministries provides resources and programming that focus on addiction and recovery, education, nutrition, parenting, job readiness and more.

“We just wanted to take this opportunity to show them exactly just how much they are appreciated and how do you do that is by giving them that hand up that they so much need,” said Mitchum.

Phase II of Veterans Village is renovating an existing building adjacent to the tiny home village.

This building will be transformed into a community center where veterans will rebuild a sense of community and receive services that will help them re-enter society.

For more information on Veterans Village, click here.