A Canadian charitable organization helping homeless veterans by building a tiny house community in Calgary, Canada and providing former service members with free compact living arrangements, counseling, and other vital services.
The Homes For Heroes Foundation has set up 15 new-build houses like a military barracks that’s set to open Friday in the province of Alberta. It’s said to be the first of its kind on Canada, with each of the 275-square-foot homes offering residents a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping area.
“Canadians are very passionate about helping those that served and this village is really a testament to that,” https://t.co/tECX9mnrw5
— Homes For Heroes Foundation (@homes4heroesfdn) October 28, 2019
While each of the villages is said to cost between $3.5 million and $5 million to build, Homes For Heroes plans to expand the project by building a similar development in Edmonton, Alberta with help from the Mustard Seed organization. Construction for that community is already underway.
According to statistics, 25,000 people across 61 communities in Canada were experiencing homelessness last year, with 4.4% of those people identifying themselves as veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces and 0.3% as veterans of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as per Everyone Counts.
This is Canada’s first tiny home village for veterans. The Homes for Heroes Foundation opened it today in #yyc, with more planned across the country: https://t.co/YFIjT7wIqD pic.twitter.com/HAxRpB6oYi
— CBC Calgary (@CBCCalgary) October 28, 2019
Retired military police officer Don McLeod works with the Mustard Seed to help council and support veterans and says that readjustment to the real world after active duty can be difficult and overwhelming, which makes it harder for vets to reach out for help with issues like homelessness and even addiction.
“A lot of (the veterans) are living on the street so the first thing we can do is give them a supportive housing environment to live in. From there we are going to work toward independent living on their own one day,” he told The CBC.
This is fantastic! 15 little houses, have sprung up in southeast Calgary. They will house veterans in need, part of a project led by the #HomesForHeroesFoundation in collaboration with the @mustardseedyyc Seed and @ATCO. #yyc https://t.co/lCm4hiXpW8
— Darrel Daniels (@DarrelDaniels) October 29, 2019
“They don’t feel that they are deserving of anything and the position they are in right now is their own fault and there’s nothing that can be done for them.”
McLeod added that he believes the community has failed its veterans in many ways and should be working to do more.
He saw his own grandfather struggle with PTSD after returning from service in World War II, adding, “What I saw was somebody who served our country, he came back broken and we weren’t there to help.”