Advertisement

Veterans village of tiny homes pitched for north Edmonton

Homes for Heroes plans 2nd tiny village for Edmonton
WATCH: A new campaign aims to house homeless veterans in Edmonton. It is called Homes for Heroes. And the goal is to have the tiny village open its doors by the end of 2020. Homes for Heroes' Cameron Diggon joined Gord Steinke in studio to talk about the plans.

The Homes for Heroes Foundation is hoping to open the doors to its second tiny home village by the end of 2020. The project would provide housing and supports for homeless veterans living in Edmonton.

The foundation said officials estimate 70 veterans experience homelessness in Edmonton after struggling to transition from their military careers to civilian life. Across Canada, that number grows to 3,500. Homes for Heroes’ director of fund development, Cameron Diggon, believes it is likely closer to 7,000.

READ MORE: Canada’s first veterans village of tiny homes goes into production

Veterans don’t tend to self-identify. They won’t say they are a veteran, either out of pride or fear of losing a benefit,” explained Diggon.

“There are a lot of veterans who don’t visit shelters. They are either out there living rough or they’re couch surfing at a buddy’s place, one buddy to another.”

Story continues below advertisement
The Homes for Heroes village is set to open in Calgary on Nov. 1.
The Homes for Heroes village is set to open in Calgary on Nov. 1. Global News
The kitchen inside one of the Homes for Heroes tiny homes.
The kitchen inside one of the Homes for Heroes tiny homes. Global News
The murphy bed inside one of the Homes for Heroes tiny homes in Calgary.
The murphy bed inside one of the Homes for Heroes tiny homes in Calgary. Global News

Canada’s first Homes for Heroes village opened in Calgary’s on Nov. 1.

READ MORE: 11 veterans set to move into Calgary ‘Homes for Heroes’ tiny home village

The community in Forest Lawn has 15 tiny homes along with a resource centre, family suite, counsellor suite and community gardens. Each home is under 300 square feet.

Story continues below advertisement

“They’re beautiful. They have everything that a larger home would have.”

“There is a fully equipped kitchen, there is a bedroom area. In the kitchen, there’s a place that’s either a workplace, workbench or a dining area. They’ve got everything they need,” Diggon said. 

Canada’s first veterans village of tiny homes goes into production
Canada’s first veterans village of tiny homes goes into production

READ MORE: 11 veterans set to move into Calgary ‘Homes for Heroes’ tiny home village

The city and the foundation have agreed on a 25-year lease in the community of Evansdale to build the tiny home village. It would be located near 94A Street and 153 Avenue.

Homes for Heroes is planning to build a tiny home village for veterans in the community of Evansdale.
Homes for Heroes is planning to build a tiny home village for veterans in the community of Evansdale. Global News

There is no government support for the project and Homes for Heroes is relying on private funding.

Story continues below advertisement

Once built, the foundation would work with Homeward Trust, the legions, Military Family Resource Centre and Vets Canada to identify potential residents.

READ MORE: Calgary kids promote project to house homeless veterans: ‘We need to help them be safe’

We would have boots on the ground looking for homeless veterans to identify them all and then triage their needs,” said Diggon.

The foundation is working on buildings sites in B.C., Manitoba, Ontario and in the Maritimes.

Canada’s first veterans village of tiny homes goes into production
Canada’s first veterans village of tiny homes goes into production

With files from Heide Pearson