First, cheap room and board is a must for this to work.
We will need a location that has low land prices and easy or non existent zoning regulations. We will need access to an airport so we can transport homeless Vets from around the country to our training location. We will also want quick access to at least some employment opportunities right from our training site.
I believe that Utah provides several sites that are suitable. On highway 80 heading west from salt lake city you pass the airport and the kennecott copper mine. TelePerformance and Convergys both have call centers in the area where they provide outsourced tech support to high tech companies. The area around Tooele, Grantsville and Mills Junction then would be ideal. Land out there is plentiful and cheap. As long as you stay reasonably close to highway 80 you have quick access to Salt Lake City and all the jobs that are available there. You also have access to the copper mine and the jobs there, many of which are ideal for our purposes.
The first step is to build housing. A high rise apartment building style will likely provide the most housing for the least cost. Advanced precast and site cast concrete construction methods such as site cast insulated tilt wall, Waffle-Crete or their Hybrid Building System will likely be the most cost effective. A discussion on affordable housing can be seen here: Which building system is used is not important as long as the final product is high quality, long lasting and cheap. The next step is to build the school facilities. This will not be like most schools. We will need lab space for technical training such as diesel mechanic and heavy equipment mechanic.
Once the buildings are finished we need to arrange for food. If you buy in bulk directly from farms and producers the price of food can be very low. It should be easy to keep food costs down below $2 per day per person.
You can see that this is easily achievable when you look at standard retail pricing found on bulk purchases of food. Rice can be had at costco for $0.30 per pound ($0.15 per pound cooked), while beans and flour are around the same price. Pancake mix is sold in 5 pound bags for $0.50 per pound. Potatoes for 0.30 per pound and fresh vegetables for around $1 per pound. Add in cheap meat like pork or chicken for $2.50 per pound and you can easily eat 2 pounds a meal 3 times a day for only a few dollars. Acquire directly from the farmers and you can drive this down considerably. Freshly cooked food you prepare yourself is more healthy and more tasty than fast food, so we are not giving up anything in terms of nutrition or flavor by spending so little on food.
With cheap housing and food handled we have the basis for success already established. I estimate if we use standard high rise apartments, and put 2 to 4 people to a room, with 3 rooms per apartment we can provide housing at around 200 dollars per person per month. Add in 60 dollars a month for food and we have just $260 per month or approximately $3,000.00 per year per person. Most of our training programs will run from 6 months to 2 years, so the average debt each Vet will incur during his stay for room and board will be around $4,000.00
To this cost we must add in the school costs. We will need to estimate around $6,000.00 per year for training costs. This should leave the average vet with a debt of $10,000.00 to $15,000.00 by the time he graduates the training program and gets a job. This level of student debt is manageable and should be easily repaid. We will be focusing on jobs that do NOT require a 4 year college degree. Some examples are shown below.
IT tech support. Training in storage arrays, computer networks, storage networks and converged systems
Advanced training and certifications in computer security and virtualization
Diesel mechanic, as well as heavy equipment mechanic
elevator repairman, electrician, welder, pipe fitter, heavy equipment operator, truck driver/commercial driver
HVAC, plumber, home remodeling particularly the high paying bathroom remodeling
Once our Vets graduate from training and obtain a job they can start paying us back plus 10% so that the system has a margin in case some don't manage to pay the program back in full. The company would make a profit doing this all while helping homeless vets get off the streets.