We received a letter from Joe Elliott, a Legion member who helped a homeless Veteran in his community get off the streets and into a home of his own. Joe is a member of Branch 43 in Prince George, BC who also volunteers with the newly established Legion OSI, a special section of the Legion that supports Veterans and their families with operational stress injuries. As the BC/Yukon Command Representative for Legion OSI, Joe has been volunteering for the past six months to establish contacts with homeless shelters and drop-in centers in the Prince George, BC area. Through his work, Joe is notified of homeless individuals that self-identify as a Veteran so he can offer support and assistance through the Legion Service Bureau.
Joe heard of a homeless Veteran through the staff at St Vincent de Paul Society drop-in center. Joe quickly made contact with the Veteran and with the assistance of John Scott, the Legion Service Officer in Legion Branch 43, began the process to get the Veteran immediate and long term supports and assistance.
Joe met with this Veteran on a regular basis. He made phone calls to Veteran Affairs to get all available benefits and assistance, and he helped the Veteran access community services such as the Blue Pine Medical Clinic, Kopar Administration’s Specialized Community Assistance Program (SCAP) (funded by the Province of BC’s Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation), and all organizations that are involved in Prince George’s Homelessness Intervention Program.
Through his connections, Joe was able to find a home for the Veteran and ensure he had all the supports he needed to make a new start! When the Veteran heard of this news, he came to St Vincent de Paul Society drop-in center with an origami box that he had made for the staff. As the staff asked what could be inside, the Veteran replied “Maybe it’s hope”.
The Legion could not be happier for this Veteran and we are so pleased we could help him get off the streets. Through the hard work of Legion volunteers, the Legion Service Bureau, and the amazing businesses and community support, this Veteran will have a roof over his head and furnishings to complete his home.
If you know of a Veteran in need, please reach out to your local Legion Service Officer, or contact the Service Bureau. We help all Veterans, free of charge, and they don`t have to be a member to get help.
Joe Elliott is a 22-year Royal Navy Veteran and a Legion member who lives in Prince George, BC.