Legion to Bring Focus on Helping Homeless VeteransIdeas and Actions to be presented at Strategy Planning Summit
Ottawa, ON – 26 October 2013 – Recognizing the need for a coordinated, national strategy to address the issues facing homeless Veterans, the Legion is proud to announce it will coordinate and host a Homeless Veterans Strategy Planning Summit. This meeting will bring together the national organizations working with homeless individuals, but with a key focus on addressing Veterans. The Summit will be held on 15 April, 2014 at Legion House in Ottawa.
“In 2012 The Royal Canadian Legion launched the National Homeless Veterans Program, Leave the Streets Behind and we are working towards the goal of ensuring that every Provincial Command establishes a homeless Veterans program tailored to meet their unique community needs,” says Gordon Moore, Dominion President of The Royal Canadian Legion. The program’s mission is to reach out to homeless Veterans, or near homeless Veterans, by providing immediate financial assistance and support when and where needed. It also connects them with the appropriate social and community services to establish a long term solution to meet their needs.
While, the Legion continues to build on programs in urban centres across the country as the framework for the Legion’s National Homeless Veterans Program, the next step is bringing together select national service providers and organizations to identify priority areas and gaps in several key areas including causes of homelessness, outreach and communication, services and programs, accessibility and coordination of effort.
Across Canada, Legion Provincial Commands are working closely with Veterans Affairs, shelters and community organizations to get Veterans off the street and into transition programs. BC/Yukon Command has been assisting homeless Veterans for many years, supporting a Veterans Manor in Vancouver’s east side and more recently, Cockerell House in Victoria. Alberta-NWT Command has operated a food bank for over 20 years assisting many Veterans in their community and is engaged with first responders in identifying and assisting homeless or near homeless Veterans. This Command has also supported Maddison House for homeless Veterans in the Calgary area and Veterans Villa in Edmonton. Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command launched the Veterans Outreach program bringing together community resources and establishing partnerships to provide proactive assistance to homeless Veterans. In Ontario, through its “Leave the Streets Behind” program, Ontario Command works with Veterans Affairs and various shelters across the province to provide transition assistance to homeless Veterans. To date Ontario Command has assisted 152 Veterans.
“We are looking forward to this summit creating some definable actions that can be coordinated with the national partners, delivered locally , and ultimately making a real difference in the lives of Veterans who are not in need of a handout, but rather just need a hand up in changing their lives,” adds Moore.
Details on the Summit will be updated on the Legion website at www.legion.ca.
For further information please contact Bruce Poulin at Dominion Command, The Royal Canadian Legion at firstname.lastname@example.org (613) 591-3335 ext. 241 or by cell at (613) 292-8760.