Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence Lawrence MacAulay speaks to reporters following a cabinet shuffle at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Friday, March 1, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence Lawrence MacAulay speaks to reporters following a cabinet shuffle at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Friday, March 1, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Calgary projects for homeless military veterans include tiny home village

Another village of homes is planned for Calgary as well as one for Edmonton in the next year

A village of 15 self-contained tiny homes for military veterans is one of four projects announced Tuesday as part of a federal strategy to help soldiers who have fallen on hard times.

Ottawa provides $3 million annually to organizations from a fund for veterans and their families to pay for housing, employment and mental-health initiatives.

The 37-square-metre homes in Calgary will come with kitchens and bathrooms. They will be run by The Mustard Seed street ministry, which partnered with Homes for Heroes, a group that supports military veterans returning to civilian life.

There will also be counselling for mental health, employment training and help for veterans as they transition to permanent housing over a one-year period.

“They’re beautiful little buildings. They really are,” said Stephen Wile, CEO of The Mustard Seed.

“There’s also a clubhouse for the veterans … We’ve discovered unless you can build community you’re not really going to be able to impact people’s lives.”

Wile said there will be staff to find jobs for those who want them, because many veterans don’t realize the transferable skills they have.

Another village of homes is planned for Calgary as well as one for Edmonton in the next year.

Other projects announced Tuesday include a community-based pilot program to transition soldiers into the post-service workplace. Research is also to be done by the Legacy Place Society on the wellness of veterans in crisis.

“In many cases they don’t want to seem reliant on anyone. They’re very much self-starters and very much independent. It’s what the military teaches you to be,” explained Legacy Place board member Bill McAuley, a retired Canadian Forces captain.

“In a controlled environment like the military, there’s a lot of supports. Once you’re out on your own it’s a lot more complex.”

Federal Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay was in Calgary to make the announcement.

He said although the government is providing the funding, it is taking direction from those who know best.

“The people that are doing the work on the ground feel that these are the programs that will give them the opportunity to end homelessness in the veterans community.

“What we want to do is have no veteran without a home.”

A 2016 study estimated there were about 2,500 homeless veterans in Canada.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
A judge has found an Edmonton woman guilty of manslaughter in the death of her five-year-old daughter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton mother found guilty of manslaughter in death of 5-year-old girl

The woman was charged and pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and assault with weapons, including a belt and a spatula

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Alberta identifies 2,042 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Central zone has 2,917 active cases

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Jason Kenney urges federal government to push U.S. for surplus COVID-19 vaccines

‘It makes no sense for our neighbours and regional states to be sitting on doses that we cannot use,’ the premier said

Alberta reported an additional 1,980 cases of COVID-19 Friday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer adds 37th death from COVID-19, active cases drop

Alberta Health identified an additional 1,980 cases of the virus province-wide

Dr. Karina Pillay, former mayor of Slave Lake, Alta., is shown at her medical clinic in Calgary on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
10 years later: Former Slave Lake mayor remembers wildfire that burned through town

Alberta announced in 2011 that an unknown arsonist had recklessly or deliberately ignited the forest fire

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman travelling from Alberta found dead in B.C. park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

A caribou grazes on Baffin Island in a 2008 file photo. A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada’s vanishing caribou herds is a step closer after a scientific review panel’s approval of a plan to permanently pen some animals and breed them to repopulate other herds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kike Calvo via AP Images
Parks Canada captive caribou breeding proposal gets OK from scientific review panel

Wolf density in Jasper is low enough that the animals would not be expected to be a major threat

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)

Most Read