Calgary’s Homes for Heroes Foundation is moving forward on a project to offer affordable housing to homeless veterans in a unique community.
“We’re guessing there’s between 250-300 homeless veterans in Calgary,” Mustard Seed CEO Stephen Wile said on Monday. “One of the issues around self-disclosure is often that feeling of shame. They proudly serve their country and they come back and they haven’t been able to fit in, often because of some of the experiences they’ve had.
“They find themselves in the situation that they’re homeless and they don’t want to admit they’re veterans.”
The new veterans village will not only offer affordable living, but also a community of peers, a sense of place and a resource centre operated by the Mustard Seed with an on-site counselor. The community’s 275-square-foot modular homes include Murphy beds, a full kitchen and bathroom, as well as some storage.
They’re designed as temporary places for veterans to live until they’re able to get back on their feet.
“The goal here is to get our vets off the streets, get them into a program, get them into something that can benefit them long-term and then make room for the next,” said David Howard with Homes for Heroes.
The foundation purchased a parcel of land in Forest Lawn from the City of Calgary in March.
City council will vote on land-use redesignation for the area in November. If that passes, the veterans village is expected to be ready for its first tenants in the spring of 2019.