Lake Twp. to add community for homeless veterans

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MILLBURY – A tiny homes community for homeless veterans is coming to Lake Township.

Mike Hossler, with T. Thomas Properties LLC, introduced Lake Township trustees to the project at their meeting Tuesday.

Hossler said in December, news from the Veterans Administration showed the homeless veteran population up 7.4% in 2023 with a significant need for affordable housing.

“Veterans live in places not meant for human habitation,” Hossler said. “More veterans need resources than the VA can help.”

Even one homeless veteran is too many, he said.

In answer to the need, Ted Thomas of T. Thomas Properties LLC is developing a small community of tiny houses at 1921 Bailey Road, Northwood.

There will be up to 20 tiny homes built on the property, called Heroes Place, Hossler said. They will provide an option to veterans for a temporary place to stay as they transition to independent living.

Clinical descriptions that cause homelessness include PTSD, anxiety disorder, depression, substance abuse and mental issues, he said.

“This project will be built,” Hossler stated. “These homes will be the start to help end the homelessness of American veterans.”

There will be no cost to the veterans who will call Heroes Place home. T. Thomas Properties LLC will do the maintenance. The local VA will decide who will be chosen to live in the homes.

The developers are seeking quotes for the cost of each home and federal and state grants will be sought.

Hossler, who is Lake Township’s former zoning inspector, said they have contacted 77 companies asking for support, including area VFWs, American Legions, local businesses and private clubs.

“The avenue for funding is out there, but the road is difficult. We will turn over every rock to get the funds to make this happen,” he said.

They hope to break ground next June, he said.

Each all-electric tiny home will be 240 square feet complete with all appliances, washer and dryer, front and side windows, furniture including a built-in single bed and be fully stocked with food and linens. There also will be an American flag at each home. At least four will comply with American with Disabilities Act requirements.

The entrance will be off Bailey Road and fencing, lighting and security will be installed as will sidewalks.

For more information or to make a tax-free donation, visit http://www.Heroes-Place.com.

“Help us end veterans homelessness. Honor those who have served us,” Hossler said.

Trustee Melanie Bowen-Greenwald asked all veterans in the room to stand; 10 did.

“Thank you for your service,” she said.

“I think it’s always good to help veteran,” said Bowen-Greenwald, who has served as president of the Walbridge VFW auxiliary. “I give them credit for wanting to do something with that property.”

The property for the tiny homes has been zoned residential since the 1960s but has never been used for that purpose. Thomas purchased it in 2023 and requested it be rezoned commercial to allow a self-storage facility.

While the township approved the change, Bailey Road residents protested and circulated a petition to let the voters decide. The referendum to keep the land zoned residential was approved in November.

Bailey Road resident Joe Zemeski, who opposed the rezoning request, could not be reached for comment.

Also at the meeting, trustees:

• Passed a resolution to proceed with the 1-mill, five-year renewal levy for the fire and EMS departments.

Based on current valuation, the levy will generate $256,000 in its first year.

Voters have supported the tax since the 1980s. It makes up about 19% of the fire/EMS budget.

“Both of those funds are not flush by any means. It’s critical,” said township fiscal officer John Ervin.

• Hired Matthew D. Moreland as a full-time patrol officer effective July 15 at an hourly rate of $31.26.

• Purchased a new Dell tower and 27-inch monitor for $1,120.57 to replace the one used by Bowen-Greenwald.

• Purchased three skids of Crafco Sealant from D.J.L. Material and Supply, Akron, for $4,043.25. The sealant will be used on Ayers Road.

• Entered a three-year agreement with Koorsen Fire and Security, Toledo, for testing and servicing of the fire sprinkler system at $1,000 per year.

• Accepted the resignations of firefighters Tracy Robertson and Drew Stockwell.

• Approved spending $1,037.50 for voltage repairs to Medic 26. W.W. Williams, Perrysburg, will do the work.

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