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Stockton veteran turns storage containers into tiny homes for homeless veterans

Veteran turns storage containers into tiny homes for homeless veterans in Stockton
Veteran turns storage containers into tiny homes for homeless veterans in Stockton 02:13

STOCKTON — In Stockton, one Air Force veteran has taken the homeless issue into his own hands and found a solution in storage containers.

A new tiny home is former Navy man Kenneth McKay's home for the time being.

"It's a simple setup," he said. "My goal is to keep it as clean as possible."

To him, it means everything.

"Twenty-two veterans commit suicide every day," he said. "I was worried I was going to be one of those, and I don't want to see anybody be that."

McKay was homeless for a period of time. That is until he met Doug Kordt.

"I build these little units, and I wouldn't mind if we could start helping with the homeless program and they said, 'Hey, we actually have a veteran we can give you right now if you're prepared,' " Kordt said.

Kordt is a veteran himself and wanted to find a way to pay it forward.

"If you took every veteran-owned business and we helped one or two, that's a lot of people," he said.

So Kordt got to work building tiny homes. To him, the period of reintegration from the street to society is a vital piece missed.

"If you take them from a tent to permanent housing, it doesn't work," he said. "They haven't gotten those skills yet to be in permanent housing and be successful at it."

McKay agreed.

"It took me a week to figure out that I was safe," he said.

Kordt hopes to see his program grow and eventually have the government support the businesses doing the work.

"I got 22 in this program and another veteran got another one or two off the street, and the city stepped in to help," Kordt said.

McKay has found his own purpose again and hopes to re-invest in those like him.

"I think if more veterans would do that for other veterans, we could solve a lot of problems and save a lot of lives," he said.

"I focus on my veterans but it's good for anything as far as the homeless world is concerned," Kordt added.

Kordt has received widespread support from city officials and hopes that the model can be scaled up and that other veterans pay it forward.

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