Vancouver Sun September 3, 2013
Re: Feds need to step up on issue of homeless veterans, Letters, Aug. 28
I want to thank Joyce Carter for her concern as expressed in her letter.
One homeless veteran on the streets is one too many. Our government has been active, through Veterans Affairs Canada, on this important issue and has taken steps to do more to help veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Over 190 organizations that support the homeless across the country have been provided with important information about how they can seek needed support and assistance.
Veterans Affairs Canada works in partnership with the Operational Stress Injury Social Support Network and other organizations in major urban centres across the country.
Notably, individuals in crisis could have access to emergency funds that are available from multiple sources such as the Naval Benevolent Fund and Canadian Forces Personnel Assistance Fund. Local veteran and community organizations are vitally important by helping to identify homeless veterans who may be eligible to receive help.
Moreover, our government has vastly improved services available to veterans: we have standardized home visits, opened snow clearing, and grass-cutting services to some 38,000 veterans' widows. We have also enhanced accessibility so that veterans can spend less time trying to access services and more time with their families.
As minister of Veterans Affairs, along with our government and my department, this is a commitment that I take with the utmost of respect, responsibility and consideration.
Minister of Veterans Affairs
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The Canadian Veterans Advocacy Team.