Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence Lawrence MacAulay speaks to reporters following a cabinet shuffle at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Friday, March 1, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Calgary projects for homeless military veterans include tiny home village

Another village of homes is planned for Calgary as well as one for Edmonton in the next year

A village of 15 self-contained tiny homes for military veterans is one of four projects announced Tuesday as part of a federal strategy to help soldiers who have fallen on hard times.

Ottawa provides $3 million annually to organizations from a fund for veterans and their families to pay for housing, employment and mental-health initiatives.

The 37-square-metre homes in Calgary will come with kitchens and bathrooms. They will be run by The Mustard Seed street ministry, which partnered with Homes for Heroes, a group that supports military veterans returning to civilian life.

There will also be counselling for mental health, employment training and help for veterans as they transition to permanent housing over a one-year period.

“They’re beautiful little buildings. They really are,” said Stephen Wile, CEO of The Mustard Seed.

“There’s also a clubhouse for the veterans … We’ve discovered unless you can build community you’re not really going to be able to impact people’s lives.”

Wile said there will be staff to find jobs for those who want them, because many veterans don’t realize the transferable skills they have.

Another village of homes is planned for Calgary as well as one for Edmonton in the next year.

Other projects announced Tuesday include a community-based pilot program to transition soldiers into the post-service workplace. Research is also to be done by the Legacy Place Society on the wellness of veterans in crisis.

“In many cases they don’t want to seem reliant on anyone. They’re very much self-starters and very much independent. It’s what the military teaches you to be,” explained Legacy Place board member Bill McAuley, a retired Canadian Forces captain.

“In a controlled environment like the military, there’s a lot of supports. Once you’re out on your own it’s a lot more complex.”

Federal Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay was in Calgary to make the announcement.

He said although the government is providing the funding, it is taking direction from those who know best.

“The people that are doing the work on the ground feel that these are the programs that will give them the opportunity to end homelessness in the veterans community.

“What we want to do is have no veteran without a home.”

A 2016 study estimated there were about 2,500 homeless veterans in Canada.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

47 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday in Alberta, still 620 active cases

3 active COVID-19 cases remain in Red Deer

COVID-19: Central zone at four active

Alberta confirms 130 cases Monday

Sylvan Lake woman distressed after cat shot at with pellet gun, loses its eye

Warning: Photo may be disturbing to some. Evelina Cornell’s cat Ms Grey was shot in the face and hip

Albertans get an extra free order of COVID-19 masks

Packages will be available July 13 at fast food restaurants

COVID-19 scare sees Latvia-bound troops turn around, return to Canada

Those on board face another 14 days in isolation

Charges dropped against N.S. woman injured during arrest in racial profiling case

Charges dropped against N.S. woman injured during arrest in racial profiling case

Conservative stalwart Scott Reid backing newcomer Leslyn Lewis for leadership

Conservative stalwart Scott Reid backing newcomer Leslyn Lewis for leadership

Planned class-action lawsuit alleges illegal strip-searches of federal prisoners

Planned class-action lawsuit alleges illegal strip-searches of federal prisoners

Two protesters get conditional discharge after Alberta turkey farm demonstration

Two protesters get conditional discharge after Alberta turkey farm demonstration

Daisies bring a sunny look to the garden

Daisies bring a sunny look to the garden

IIHF encouraged by NHL’s potential return to Olympics in ‘22

IIHF encouraged by NHL’s potential return to Olympics in ‘22

Most Read