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Province partners with Homes for Heroes Foundation to address homeless veterans issue

Click to play video: 'Province announces tiny home village in Kingston for homeless veterans' Province announces tiny home village in Kingston for homeless veterans
WATCH: Ontario government to contribute money and land for the project – Nov 10, 2020

Kingston’s Memorial Wall bearing the names of 1000 veterans served as the back drop for the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing announcement.

Minister Steve Clark told the small group the province will contribute $200,000 and one acre of land owned by the province in Kingston for the construction of a tiny home village for homeless veterans.

“A portion of the land on the Kingston provincial campus will be transformed into a village using innovative pre-fabricated modular housing.” Clark told the gathered crowd.

In total about 25 homes are planned for the village.

The charitable Homes for Heroes Foundation is the organization behind the project.

They have already built a similar village in Calgary and a second one is under construction Edmonton.

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The foundations Director of Fund Development, Cameron Diggon says the program has been crafted from the input of homeless veterans.

“They didn’t want a hand out they wanted a hand up.” said Diggon “They’re pretty resiliant people but circumstances had conspired to lead them to homelessness.”

Diggon says once the veterans are placed in the transitional housing village they can begin developing a plan for the veteran.

Homes for Heroes Foundation works with Veterans Affairs Canada and local social service agencies to build that personalized program.

“What caused them to be homeless in the first place? That could be something as simple as post traumatic stress. They may need employment counselling or the may need other kinds of counselling.” said Diggon.

 

Diggon says they are already seeing signs in Calgary that

Read more: Feds create $20M fund for struggling veterans’ organizations amid pandemic

their plan is working.

The village in Calgary was completed in early November last year.

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Diggon says 3 veterans the foundation worked with have now moved on to permanent housing and employment.

“They were able to graduate within about 6 months of being in the village.” Diggon told Global news Kingston. “We thought a minimum of a year so very it’s heartening.”

The federal governments Standing Committee on Veterans affairs issued a report last year estimating between 3000 and 5000 veterans are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

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