PAWTUCKET – A tiny house built for homeless military veterans by Pawtucket high school students was originally set to be moved from Pawtucket to Foster’s Dare to Dream Ranch, but the delivery has been postponed for nearly a year by inspectors.

Karen Dalton, founder and executive vice president at Dare to Dream Ranch, said that the town of Foster had approved the organization to have one tiny house put on their property and she was anticipating its arrival, only to then find out it would be postponed for an unknown amount of time after she said inaccurate information was given about the inspection process.

Kevin Cunha, director of CTE and Workforce Development Programs at the Center for Dynamic Learning, spearheaded the effort to build tiny homes for veterans and worked with Shea High School students to build the home for Dare to Dream Ranch.

“We had everything built and ready to go to bring to Dare to Dream Ranch and I got a phone call from a state building official saying that I had to take a modular home certification course and that the tiny home has to be inspected by the state building inspector before it can be transferred,” Cunha said. “That was not explained to us when we first started the project, and once we created the tiny homes, they came and told us.”

Cunha said he is currently taking the certification course and that he and his students still have all the houses built and ready to be moved.

“We literally put $100,000 into all of these things and they’re literally just sitting in parking lots,” Cunha said. “Once we get the certification, we’re going to drive over and drop off the tiny homes.”

Cunha said Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien, who is a good friend of his, supports the project and is holding two of the tiny houses for them and helping them to find other places they can put them until they can be moved to new locations.

Cunha emphasized how important it is for his students to see their work being used after they put so much time and effort into the project.

The Center for Dynamic Learning helps inner-city students who are on the verge of being expelled from their school due to behavioral issues, working with them in a hands-on learning environment to prepare them for college and careers.

“We work with the kids that everyone gives up on. I want these kids to have a good life and that’s the most important thing to me,” Cunha said. “The homeless veteran project is great because we do a lot of work for them and it teaches them how to give back to the community in a way they would otherwise never be able to experience.”

Cunha said that despite the delivery to Dare to Dream Ranch being delayed, he and his students have been able to complete other projects, including rebuilding the ranch’s barn, cattle bridges, picnic tables, and beehives. They also rebuilt an RV for the homeless veterans to have a place where they can stay overnight.

“We do this with our kids because we want to show them, where you are right now doesn’t mean anything,” Cunha said. “Where you go later is what matters.”

Dare to Dream Ranch, a non-profit organization, works with veterans who have PTSD, anxiety, and depression to work through their struggles and gain skills to successfully move forward in life.

The organization holds programs that help veterans learn skills such as healthy cooking, exercise, fly fishing, animal care, resume writing training, interview training, coaching, and job internship opportunities. No homeless veterans currently stay on the property overnight, but Dalton said she hopes for them to eventually be able to thanks to new tiny homes.

“We are looking to expand so we can get approval for more tiny homes once we get more land,” Dalton said. “Right now the town is only approving us for one with the parcel of land we are on.”

Dalton said that they are looking to buy 10 acres next to Dare to Dream Ranch, which would give them the ability to add two more tiny houses.

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