Aiming to end the sense of exclusion and isolation many struggling veterans experience, the new Quebec Veterans’ Foundation will be holding the First Gathering of Veterans Services on Saturday, Sept. 29 in St-Hubert.
The gathering, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., will see health-care experts, service providers, military personnel, veterans and families come together to share information. The day-long event is open to all Veterans concerned about their well-being or that of their colleagues, military families, spouses and children, and organizations and institutions that contribute to veterans’ well-being providing them with a forum to introduce themselves and build bridges to veterans. The gathering will also seek to hear from stakeholders, professionals and social workers who wish to meet and hear from veterans with the goal of understanding their needs, challenges and possible solutions to today’s pressing issues.
Those issues are real and pressing. The foundation estimates that 1,500 members of the military release each year. Of that number, 25 per cent experience challenges in transitioning to civilian life. They add that eight years go by on average between releasing from the military and experiencing homelessness. Six per cent of homeless people in Montreal are veterans. The foundation now seeks to expand services to all 122,000 veterans in Quebec. It will also act as a link to national veterans organizations, such as Wounded Warriors Canada and True Patriot Love.
The Quebec Veterans’ Foundation was established last year to create a caring, helping and supporting community within the veterans of Quebec and the organizations who provide services, by showing you initiatives specifically developed to provide support. It came about after a comprehensive overhaul of the Ste-Anne Hospital Foundation was completed. Located in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, the 446-bed Ste Anne’s primarily serves Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) veterans specializing in long-term and geriatric care, as well as providing treatment for operational stress injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The hospital was founded in 1917 in response to the many wounded veterans returning from the First World War. In 2016, the federal government transferred Ste. Anne’s Hospital to the province.
The Quebec Veterans Foundation gathering will be held at 6000, route de l’aéroport in St-Hubert, Quebec, however, all Veterans to park at the Gare Longueuil and take the shuttle bus to the event.