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Wanting to solve homelessness, Ramona man is building 'Patriotic Villages'

Fed up after watching growing homeless encampments on the news, Army Veteran Chris Pozek of Ramona is making it his mission to build sustainable housing.

RAMONA, Calif. — With a rampant homeless problem across San Diego County and the country, Chris Pozek, founder of Patriotic Villages says he has a housing solution.

"I wanted to make houses out of recycled material. I’ll do everything I can to help people get a roof over their head,” said Pozek, the son of an inventor with 17 patents in Yugoslavia.

Pozek calls his housing invention “Eco-tainers” for their box-like shape. The spaces would be green energy 2-bedroom homes built from scratch. He said they will have a kitchen, common area, outdoor space, air conditioning and heat. 

He just needs the land for any city in need to set them up.

"We could put 60 houses on a half an acre," Pozek said.

Pozek is an Army veteran combat medic who started housing veterans and more in RV’s on his own 3.5 acre lot in Ramona in 2020 during the pandemic when he learned of many veterans out of work.

Before the pandemic hit, Air Force veteran of 20 years Christopher Spencer moved from Paso Robles to San Diego when his father had a heart attack to be near his brother.

“We became homeless, I started looking around and came across the ad here and it was for veterans," said Spencer, who got laid off from his IT job and says Pozek gave him and his family a place to stay for free.

“A place to live with the roof over our head, so we didn't have to worry anymore, and so that is where I was able to go back and work for IT at the VA,” Spencer said.

June will mark one year for Spencer living at Patriotic Villages, currently filled with 25 families or single units and a wait list of 18. Spencer wants to move into the new Eco-Tainers.

“I hope I am one of the first ones in there. I think it's going to be a little bit more room and space, and it looks great, and it's eco-friendly. You can't beat that,” Spencer said.

Pozek said each “Eco-tainer” will be powered off green energy as solar is planned to be the main power source.

“It's going to be an all-in-one solution. They drop it, they've got power, they got water. and they'll have food,” Pozek said.

Pozek’s daughter Reigan Pozek said she’s be in contact with municipalities across the U.S. interested in the Eco-tainers idea to house the homeless.

“It will have our Aquaponics gardens, basically what it is, this top level is going to have clay pebbles inside and then we are going to have mesh to where we grow our green food. Underneath here, we will have the fish,” Pozek said.

A tube connected will transport the fish waste to create fertilizer for the plants. Then a mini bio-gas plant, which looks like a black trash back over a hot tub will take in any food or human waste that will get turned into methane and liquid fertilizer.

“Our villages are completely sustainable and in a sustainable down to making use of waste,” Reigan Pozek said.

Chris Pozek says Suez Canal shipment delays have held up getting all the building materials needed. He anticipates having a dozen eco-tainers up and built in Ramona by the end of June.

WATCH: California Dept. of Transportation issues 'notice to vacate' at homeless encampment in National City


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