The Legion helps Veterans and their family members leave the streets behind and turn their lives around through national and provincial programs offering financial assistance and supports for homeless Veterans and those at-risk.
In 2012, the Legion established a national homeless Veterans program, “Leave the Streets Behind”, based on the ground breaking work of Ontario Command. 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.
To date, the Leave the Streets Behind program is operated in Ontario, British Columbia/Yukon, Alberta/North West Territories, Nova Scotia/Nunavut Commands, and was just launched in New Brunswick Command this past March. The Legion is working to make the program available through all Provincial Commands.
Help is Available
If you, or a Veteran or family member you know is homeless or near homeless please contact the Legion at:
- Tel: 613-591-3335 or
- Toll-free: 1-877-534-4666
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Or contact a Command Service Officer in your area
How We Can Help
Trained Legion Service Officers can assist with the following:
- Finding suitable accommodation: Legion Provincial Commands work closely with Veterans Affairs, shelters and community organizations to get Veterans off the street and into temporary and/or long term accommodations
- Financial assistance: Through the Poppy Fund, financial assistance can be provided for items such as first and last month’s rent, rental arrears, furnishings, food and clothing, bus tickets, and medical needs such as dental, eyeglass, transportation to medical appointments.
- Other supports: Legion Provincial Commands can help Veterans access additional community, mental health and training programs to support their transition.
- Canadian ex-service personnel and their dependants (spouse/children).
- Commonwealth ex- service personnel who are residents in Canada and their dependants.
- Allied countries ex-service personnel who are residents of Canada and their dependants.
This program is funded by Legion Branches within the province through their Poppy Funds. As well, Legion Provincial Commands receive an initial grant from Dominion Command to help with the start-up costs of the program.
How the Legion is helping across Canada
Recognizing the need for a coordinated, national strategy to address the issues facing homeless Veterans, the Legion coordinated and hosted a Homeless Veterans Forum in April 2014. This meeting brought together national organizations working with homeless individuals, but with a key focus on addressing Veterans.
The Legion has been assisting homeless Veterans across Canada for many years. In addition to helping homeless Veterans find and access emergency supports, Provincial Commands have taken the initiative to develop and fund homeless programs and supports in their communities.
- Ontario was the first Provincial Command to develop and offer the “Leave the Streets Behind” program. Through their efforts, the Legion established a network of support through Veterans Affairs and various shelters across the province to provide transition assistance to homeless Veterans.
- BC/Yukon Command provides financial support for Veterans Manor in Vancouver’s East side and more recently, Cockrell 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.
Dominion Command is working towards the goal of ensuring that every Provincial Command in Canada establishes a homeless Veterans program tailored to meet their unique community needs.
- Legion Hosts Homeless Veterans Forum
- Legion to Bring Focus on Helping Homeless Veterans
- Legion Helps Finance Aboriginal Veterans Homelessness Research
What our Veterans are saying:
“I came into the shelter for a shower and came out with a life.”
“Thank you for giving me a hand up.”
“It is a great feeling to close the door and feel safe.”
“Thank you for the assistance you provided, it has given me breathing room so that I may get the rest of my life in order.”