Ontario Command Homeless Veterans Report
Comrades our Homeless Program continues to grow in numbers and expand across our Command. As of August 12th our statistics are;
- 418 Veterans assisted, (this number is likely closer to 500 when “unreported instances” of veterans that have been assisted by branches are included)
- 242 Veterans have been housed.
- $494,000.00, has been dispersed in the form of gift cards, tokens, bus tickets etc., when the dispersments to;
- Mainstay (Parliament St. & Bathurst St.)
- MultiFaith Housing (Ottawa-Rockcliff proposal)
- Pan Am Games Housing (10 refurbished units for veterans) are included that number reaches $1,500,000.00.
All this has been made possible by the approximately 2.5 million dollars our Homeless Veterans Program has received in donations from our members, our branches, our Ladies Auxiliary and other private and corporate sourses.
We often hear the comment that “veteran’s homelessness” is a big city, a Metro Toronto problem, not so. This assistance has happened in 104 communities across Ontario Command.
On a positive note, we have entered into an MOU with “George Brown College” to provide ongoing dental services Eligible Homeless Veterans as determined by VAC case management. George Brown has also offered to facilitate our introduction to other Dental Colleges within the province so that the same services are available throughout our command.
We have also met with the Jan Richardson and other staff of London Community Housing and held discussions on enhancing our programs in London and the western Ontario region. Discussions were positive and will continue.
There have also been various proposals for increased services in the Niagara Region, but nothing “concrete” has developed—–so far.
The Multifaith Housing proposal for the Rockcliff development in Ottawa is progressing, they still hope to have shovels in the ground by next spring.
Comrades we need to thank all our staff, but in particular Dave, Pam and Juanita for their ongoing commitment and dedication to this program and the deserving veterans that it serves. It is more than just a job and it does become personal.
On behalf of our Members, Ladies Auxiliary and Branches whose generosity, fund this program, thank you.