Students present design ideas for proposed veterans community

Greenwood Lake. Rumshock Veterans Foundation seeks to assist homeless veterans in Orange County.

| 15 Feb 2021 | 08:02

After learning about the $400,000 grant that then-State Sen. Jen Metzger awarded to Rumshock Veterans Foundation last October Suffern High School students contacted Rumshock President Bill Whetsel to present their ideas for the interiors of the small homes that will comprise Rumshock’s Victory Village.

The main ingredient of Rumshock’s Victory Village program is to assist homeless veterans in Orange County.

Metzger made the the announcement at the Greenwood Lake Elks Lodge 2067. The $400,000 grant will go toward purchasing land and eventually breaking ground to make the estimated $3 million project a reality.

There are 40,000 homeless veterans in the United States; 22 veteran suicides every day, and fewer than half the number of veterans receive the mental health treatment they need. Rumshock Veterans Foundation’s mission will address each one of these issues with its program initiatives.

“We were overjoyed that these students would take such an interest in our program,” said Whetsel, who is hoping to locate a suitable property to get started on the project that will eventually include single-family homes of 600 square feet.

Each home will be ADA compliant and incorporate smart, sustainable technology in their design. Victory Village is a custom-building project that’s the first master-planned tiny house community in Orange County on 10 acres.

The pint-sized village, initially consisting of 12 dwellings with private backyards, will cater to ecologically aware small space veteran dwellers. Edible herb landscaping, a produce production facility as well as a glorious urban garden are just some of the green amenities that are planned.

Design parameters

“When the Suffern High School Interior Design teacher, Shawna Strenfel, spoke to us,” Whetsel said, “she needed some parameters from us that she would be able to provide to the students who, using design technology and their own imagination, would be able to work with.”

In addition to the interior square footage and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance restrictions placed upon the designs; Whetsel told Strenfel that each interior design would have to be built within a budget of $30,000.

The students then divided themselves into groups and began working on layouts that include a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and sitting area.

During January 2021, a group from Rumshock Foundation visited Suffern High School to allow each of the student groups to present their interior concepts via a Zoom meeting. There were a total of seven groups and, like the television programs Fixer Upper and others, each presentation consisted of original drawings, color palettes and interior renderings of what the finished interiors would look like and what the estimated cost would be.

Readers invited to vote

Members of the Rumshock Veterans Board of Directors now have to review each presentation and decide which approach would make the most sense for the project, but they need your help.

Hudson Valley residents are invited to view each of the presentations and vote on their preferences, by clicking on, where visitors can vote for their favorites.

Rumshock Veterans Foundation, a 501 c (3) charitable organization, is working to do all it can to offer veterans the opportunity to improve their physical, mental and emotional health as well as reconnect with society through meaningful activities.

There are four components to the Foundation’s sustainable program:

Victory Village, a tiny home community;

Hydroponic farming, maintained by village residents;

Victory Transportation to assist village residents in making appointments to health care providers and other necessities; and

E-Waste Recycling, involving the recovery of materials to be used in future production.

To learn more about the foundation’s programs, click on or call (845) 325-2203.