CVA Homeless veterans announcement
During the past couple of days, there has been an opportunity to personally engage Minister Blaney and members of his staff about the current issues confronting the veterans community and one of the issues addressed was the homeless veterans issue.
The CVA strives for a comprehensive, nation wide standard/policy on this issue and believes various organizations, VAC and the VAC stakeholders addressing this issue can be united, a mechanism capable sharing resources when necessary can be implemented to overcome geographical remoteness or lack of suitable funding for the outreach elements. VETS Canada is a prime example, an organization strong on outreach potential but lacking in financial resources required to effectively deal with the situation. The Legion, conversely, is flush with Poppy Fund moneys, funds which, under the circumstances, be directly to resolving critical issues of homelessness, addiction, substance abuse, mental health or physical impairments Canada's sons and daughters have experienced as a consequence of their service to Queen and country.
I have proposed to Minister Blaney that a HOMELESS VETERANS SUMMIT be conducted this fall, an opportunity for the government to bring forth the primary outreach organizations and VAC stakeholders active on this front together in an effort to seek consensus on an effective approach and the creation of a mechanism capable of pooling resources, intelligence, social resources, rehab elements...
We believe it is the governments responsibility to exercise this leadership on this issue and that it is our, the veterans and VAC stakeholders duty, to ensure the programs are effective. Accordingly, I am pleased to note there were additional tele conversations this afternoon with Minister Blaney's chief of staff and policy director in relationship to the pilot program announced below.
I would note that while Jim Lowther and VETS Canada is regrettably not not included in this initiative, the organizations participating are extremely credible and worthy of our support. I have been assured that should this project be successful, the program will be expanded to include VETS Canada and Maritime Canada. I would encourage those willing to donate to a charitable organization to consider VETS Canada as they will not benefit, at least at this time, from the nearly four million dollars in mission specific funding announced this afternoon in Calgary
This is a very good start and on this front, I would be remiss in my duty as the president of a NONPARTISAN Advocacy were I not to extend the Advocacy's appreciation to the government for this initiative. The bottom line is that over FIFTY homeless veterans in Victoria, Calgary, London and Toronto will be provided accommodation and the necessary support elements to leave the street behind forever.
Michael L Blais CD
President, Canadian Veterans Advocacy
Here are some of the important facts for this project:
Pilot sites, providing accommodations to 56 Veterans are:
– Cockrell House - Veterans Housing Society, Victoria, British Columbia – accommodate 11 Veterans
– Calgary Homeless Foundation, Calgary, Alberta – accommodate 15 Veterans
– Mainstay Housing, Toronto, Ontario – accommodate 20 Veterans
– Unity Project for Relief of Homelessness, London, Ontario – accommodate 10 Veterans
HRSDC will fund up to $1.98 million to:
– Fund four community non-profit organizations to implement pilot at each site
– Provide evaluation after the 2 year mandate
VAC in-kind contribution of up to $1.85 million and will include:
o Dedicated case management support for Veterans at local sites
o Mental health professional expertise and services for Veterans from the Operational Stress Injuries Clinics
Community Organizations will provide:
o Site support
o Site manager
o Primary Case Worker
o Necessities of daily living
Homelessness Partnering Strategy
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You can view the full announcement by following this link:
The Canadian Veterans Advocacy Team.