If an ambitious project by a group of local volunteers comes to fruition, homeless veterans in Socorro will have a place to call their own.

The plan calls for a community of tiny homes on 22 acres of private land 30 miles south of Socorro at the San Marcial exit on Interstate 25. U.S. Air Force retiree and commander of the Socorro Chapter of the DAV Daun Medaris is funding the project along with his wife Darlene and Roxann Scott.

Medaris said they considered going through government programs but “on the government level, the red tape kind of gets in the way, so we’re going to put up our money for this.”

The project is located in the Highland Springs subdivision which was once part of the Pedro Armendaris Land Grant.

“It will be called the Forget Me Not Veterans Park,” Medaris said. “The land is improved with water and power.”

Air Force veteran Roxann Scott, the owner of Forget Me Not Thrift Store, said supporting veterans and veterans’ causes is a priority of hers.

“Since we’ve been opened, the thrift store has helped to support the DAV,” Scott said. “And now we’re continuing that by starting this veterans community of tiny homes.”

A tiny home is described as a domicile of fewer than 400 sq. ft., with the average in the neighborhood of 225 sq. ft.

Medaris said three of the tiny homes have been procured and will be in place in November.

“We hope to have three out here by Veterans Day,” he said. “The lot already has a 40’x40′ shop to build tiny homes for homeless veterans.

“And we have plumbing on the way. Hopefully, it’s here by Veterans Day,” he said. “And a 28’x60′ modular building that we purchased in Albuquerque.”

Medaris said the tiny home community will have an administration building, a barracks, a chow hall, laundry facilities and community showers.

“Also a chapel for spiritual guidance if the veterans need that,” he said.

Scott is confident the project will be successful.

“We have a large volunteer force that’s excited about helping us and it’s just waiting for everything to come together,” she said. “A lot of veterans are wanting to give back to their fellow veterans and many of them have expertise in construction and building.”

“We have certified a therapist specialized in PTSD, that is willing to come and volunteer,” she said. “I’ve talked to several nurses I know that are willing to come and do wellness checks. It’s incredible for our community to pull together like this. I would be more than happy to talk to people about volunteering.”

Scott said one of the main reasons was to give the veterans a home address.

“Without an address, they can’t receive any veterans’ benefits, so this is to be able to give them an opportunity to receive the benefits they deserve,” Scott said. “The other thing is, I think, it’s going to boost how they feel about themselves and their self-worth and give them a purpose. Because being homeless, they’re looked down on. But, you know, they served our country. They are our forgotten heroes and they deserve respect.

“We hope to teach them some skills,” she said. “They will be able to help build more of our tiny homes for other veterans.”

Scott, vice commander of Socorro’s DAV chapter, said the effort is not connected with any other veterans organizations.

“No other entity is involved in this whatsoever,” she said.

The public dedication of the Forget Me Not Veterans Park is scheduled for November 11 at 2 p.m.

Medaris encourages the public to attend, “after the Veterans Day observance at Isidro Baca Park.”