Local organization building tiny homes for veterans in Shelby

SHELBY, N.C. — Two people are working hard in Shelby to make sure the men and women who came back from serving our country have an affordable roof over their heads.

Tony Reed is living the American Dream. He said he and his partner, Bonnie Wyandt, want to do their parts to thank the heroes who make that dream possible.

“These vets, who now come home and have no place, who need assistance. And they get forgotten about,” Wyandt said. “So, one of our mottos is to leave no one behind.”

The pair said veterans are on the forefront of their minds this Memorial Day and every day. They said that’s why they are working to build The Cottages at Valor in Shelby.

Reed said he operates as the president of the organization, while Wyandt operates as the secretary-treasurer. They said their goal is to end veteran homelessness by building dozens of affordable cottages.

“The overall property is just under 19 acres. And we are potentially with the zoning allowances and are allowed to put in 72 cottages. Well, most of them will be 200-square-foot,” Wyandt said.

“We’ll have slabs here. The backside is actually the cottage. That back corner will be the bathroom. And then this front section here with the board through the center is the front porch,” Reed said.

Reed and Wyandt told Channel 9 that they want to keep rent as low as $350 a month, which would include water and utilities.

They said they recognize it will take a village to build the village.

“We need volunteers. We need, you know, people to help out with the work because if I can get a volunteer to do the plumbing, it’s going to save thousands of dollars,” Wyandt said.

The duo said they hope to put that extra money into amenities for residents and community members to enjoy. They said they have already invested $300,000 of their own money into the project. It’s a massive gesture that they hope will make an even larger impact.

“One person can make a difference. Two can make a bigger,” Wyandt said. “And the more you get involved, you can change the world in whatever part you live in.”

Reed and Wyandt told Channel 9 that crews are expected to come out next week to begin building the first cottage.

The group behind The Cottages at Valor expects the construction will last about five years.

>> For more information on how you can volunteer or donate to The Cottages at Valor, click here.

(WATCH BELOW: Memorial Day 2022: Carolinas honor veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice)