VETS Canada recently announced a new relationship with Value Village (Atlantic District).
The official announcement took place at the Value Village store in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
“This is exciting for a lot of reasons. We have established a great partnership with another community organization, we are able to get more vets on their feet, and there is potential to take this project across the country,” said Jim Lowther, founder, VETS Canada.
Value Village, Atlantic District will be providing New Home Packages to VETS Canada clients in the Atlantic Region being moved into a new home.
The packages will include all of the basic necessities to outfit a home including items like dishes, utensils, towels, bedding, shower curtains, and toasters.
VETS Canada clients are veterans who are living on the streets or at-risk of being homeless, have lost their families and may at times, be suicidal.
“We were already going to Value Village to put together the things we needed to help out our vets. I believe if you don't ask you don’t get, so I just approached them to see if they would be able to help us out in some small way. They came back to me with the offer of free packages,” said Lowther. “These packages will jumpstart our vets and help them get back on their feet.”
At the present time, VETS Canada relies on financial donations to support their clients. Lowther is hopeful the relationship with Value Village will expand across the country giving them the opportunity to help more people.
A grassroots movement, VETS Canada began in 2011 when Lowther, a veteran himself, realized that there were veterans slipping through the cracks.
He recognized that vets were not making successful transitions from their military careers to healthy, productive civilian lives.
Many were unemployed or underemployed, and some were trying to cope with visible and non-visible injuries related to their service, without knowledge of adequate health care and other community support.
Loather formed a small team in Halifax, Nova Scotia to seek out and help homeless and at-risk veterans with a view to helping reintegrate them into civilian life.
“This movement has grown into a federally registered non-profit charity. VETS Canada is governed by a national Board of Directors composed of volunteers from across the country,” explained Lowther.
Dedicated volunteers across the country, most of who are ex-military or RCMP fulfill the mission of VETS Canada. They work within the community to identify homeless veterans and quickly re-establish the bond of trust that exists between soldiers.
VETS Canada members attempt to move veterans from the streets or shelters into affordable housing and help them find furniture and other items necessary to run successfully maintain a home.
According to Lowther, volunteers also connect the veterans with needed health care, help them access the benefits and services from other organizations such as Veterans Affairs Canada and support them in finding suitable employment.
The volunteers stay with the veteran every step of the process and do everything possible to help them re-establish themselves.
To learn more about VETS Canada, or to volunteer with their organization please visit their website.