More than a dozen former members of the Canadian Armed Forces who have been forced to sleep on the streets will finally have proper roofs over their heads.
The “Homes for Heroes” Village in Calgary is the nation’s first housing complex built exclusively for homeless veterans—and its residents are ready to move in this weekend.
The village is made up of 15 houses, all of which have been equipped with everything from cable and internet to fully-functioning kitchens and outdoor decks.
The complex has also been equipped with additional on-site resources such as mental health support, counseling, career training, mentoring, case management, and even community gardens.
“Our team at the Homes For Heroes Foundation has met with hundreds of veterans who are in crisis and experiencing homelessness,” said Homes for Heroes Foundation president and co-founder David Howard.
“We wanted to build a program that can help them with a successful transition to civilian life. Our veterans are proud warriors, proud of their service, and proud to be citizens of Canada. They want a hand-up, not a hand-out. We listened to what they had to say, and we designed our foundation around meeting their needs.”
The village was built by ATCO, a Calgary-based global provider of integrated energy, housing, transportation and infrastructure solutions, through a $1.5 million in-kind donation.
Though this is the first village of its kind in Canada, the Homes for Heroes Foundation already has additional land agreements for more villages in Edmonton and Ontario.
“I expect this to end the issue of veterans experiencing homelessness and I think we can do that within a 12 to 13 year period,” Howard told Global News.
Written by McKinley Corbley