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.

Just Posted

Culture Days offers amazing variety Sept. 27 to 29

“Taste of Wetaskiwin” followed by “Connect 4”

Join Leduc singer/songwriter Julia Vos raising funds for youth shelter Fri to Sun

Mulhurst Bay’s singer/songwriter busking in Edmonton for Youth Emergency Shelter

Pipestone Creek Grouse Walk a success Aug. 24

Event hosts over 40 participants near Wetaskiwin

Beef barley soup with great cake idea for dessert

Zucchini Carrot Cake only takes about 40 mins in oven

Wetaskiwin Bantam Warriors get payback against Fort Mac

Wetaskiwin earns decisive 43 to 12 victory in week 2 action

Red Deer Rebels fall to Edmonton in home opener 4-2

Red Deer will play the second of a home and home on Sunday

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Expert says acquittal of Alberta parents in boy’s death unlikely to set precedent

The Stephans testified they thought their son had croup and used herbal remedies to treat him

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Possible Canadian cases of vaping illnesses being investigated: health officer

‘I think that will be really important to address the overall trend of youth vaping’

Most Read