Homelessness among homeless Vancouver veterans has become a growing concern, so Veterans Emergency Transition Services Canada (VETS Canada) and Community Builders Group partnered together to provide temporary housing to homeless military veterans.
“There are so many veterans out there who need assistance and who need a place to kind of regroup,” said Jim Lowther, CEO of VETS Canada.
The program provides veterans with a temporary place to live, up to six months, as they transition to longer-term housing. Once there, the veteran completes a needs assessment to gauge what needs to be done to help the transition.
“We find out where they served, what they might be entitled to through Veterans Affairs and then we make sure that they’re going to have that successful outcome,” said Lowther.
From there, VETS Canada help veterans to find an apartment, a job if need be and what other Provincial resources they may be entitled to, to help them transition and eventually succeed on their own.
“The transition is a very important part because it allows us to do it in a safe way, in a comfortable space that the veteran feels safe. When you feel safe, you can really open up,” said Lowther.
Honoured to be a part of the housing project, Executive Director of Community Builders Group, Julie Roberts said in a press release, “Everyone deserves a home and a safe place to sleep. Community Builders is committed to providing housing solutions to the most vulnerable in Vancouver. The ability to provide that service in support of Veterans who served their country is an opportunity for us to give back to them.”
Since launching the program, one gentleman has already moved and settled in. Lowther said once this gentleman has gotten back on his feet, they will be ready to move someone else in. Lowther said the process can take up to six months or as little as one month.
Along with the apartment in Vancouver, there are two others in Halifax, with talk of adding two more in the Ottawa area.
For more information or to donate, please visit www.vetscanada.org.