OTTAWA, ON, December 17th 2013 – The Royal Canadian Legion Dominion President, Gordon Moore, is pleased to announce the Legion has been awarded the Outreach and Visitation Initiative contract from Veterans Affairs Canada. This contract helps ensure Veterans receiving long-term care can provide feedback that is used to enhance programs and services.
The Royal Canadian Legion is well qualified to meet the requirements of this outreach and visitation initiative. “As the only Veterans organization in Canada with a national infrastructure, the Legion is well positioned to administer a program of this size and scope with reliable, screened and trained volunteers,” said Moore. “The existing and well established relationship between the Department and the Legion, coupled with the Legion’s network of volunteers, who have previous experience in visiting Veterans in long term care facilities, will ensure an efficient and cost effective approach to this contract,” he added.
Veterans Affairs Canada currently supports more than 8,700 Veterans in approximately 1,750 facilities and does not have the available resources to conduct visits with a large number of Veterans in long term care without a contractual agreement in place. This contract will allow the Government to use The Royal Canadian Legion volunteer network to visit on an annual basis, approximately 4,000 of the over 8,000 Veterans who are receiving financial assistance from the Department for long term care.
This new initiative will facilitate face to face visits with Veterans, providing them with an opportunity to have a conversation and social visit with a volunteer and to raise concerns or identify needs that might be addressed by VAC. The value of this new initiative to meet with a Veteran in a facility cannot be understated according to Gordon Moore. “Our volunteers have visibility into the facility and can hear, see and smell the environment. They are the boots on the ground.” He adds that “the capability of this initiative ensures that no matter where a Veteran is located a visit will be conducted at a very low cost to the Department.”
While the Legion visits Veterans in facilities as part of individual Branch outreach programs, these visits do not include a proactive and formal visit and monitoring of the veteran’s needs, which is the Federal Government’s responsibility.
For further information please contact Bruce Poulin at Dominion Command, The Royal Canadian Legion firstname.lastname@example.org or at (613) 591-3335 ext. 241 or by cell at (613) 292-8760. To view all our news releases visit legion.ca/media7.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Outreach and Visitation Initiative (OVI) for Veterans
Why does the Legion, as a non-partisan organization advocating for Veterans, engage in contracts with the government?
The Royal Canadian Legion is one of the largest community service organizations in Canada and we do not receive a dime of funding from the government for our operations. The Legion, as a Veterans’ service organization, does contract services to the government such as the Veterans’ Outreach and Visitation Initiative (OVI) which ensures all Veterans receive the care and benefits they deserve. In contracting these services the Legion is filling a gap the government is not able to deliver on for Canada’s Veterans. Thanks to its 300,000 members and its footprint of over 1460 branches across Canada, the Legion is able to step up and ensure Veterans and their families receive the highest quality of service and care from the government throughout their lives.
There is no profit derived from these contacted services to the Legion. They are solely provided on a cost recovery basis.
Why was the Legion awarded the OVI contract?
This OVI contract from Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) was a publicly tendered contract. The Legion was awarded the contract as we are a national organization well positioned to administer a program of this size and scope, with a network of reliable, screened and trained volunteers across Canada who have previous experience in visiting Veterans in long term care facilities.
Where does the money from the OVI contract go?
The Outreach and Visitation Initiative contract from Veterans Affairs Canada is in the amount of $120,000. The contract is for one year, and covers the costs of administering, coordinating and delivering visits to approximately 4,000 Veterans.
Which Veterans are served through this initiative?
Through the OVI, Legion volunteers will visit almost 4,000 Veterans who are clients of Veterans Affairs Canada in long term care facilities. This initiative will facilitate face-to-face visits with these Veterans, providing them with an opportunity to have a conversation and social visit with a volunteer, and to raise concerns or identify needs that might be addressed by Veterans Affairs Canada.
How can I become a volunteer for the Veterans Outreach and Visitation Initiative?
Volunteers with the OVI must be a Legion member and qualify through a rigorous selection process. Volunteers are selected based on the needs within the community, required skill sets, security screenings, and ability to travel and must undergo specialized training. Requests for volunteers are sent by Dominion Command through Legion branches in areas serviced by the OVI.
We already have selected volunteers for this coming year. However, members can let their Legion branch know if they would be interested in this volunteer opportunity should the contract run again.