Housing complex of tiny homes for homeless veterans first of its kind in Canada
Published Monday, October 28, 2019 2:45PM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 29, 2019 9:25AM MDT
CALGARY — Homelessness is a problem among Canadian veterans, with at least 3,500 living on the streets across the country.
Homes For Heroes is trying to fix that and has just finished its first housing complex aimed at supporting homeless veterans and getting them back on their feet.
A complex of 15 tiny homes is now complete with most residents set to move in on the weekend.
Each unit includes a kitchen, bathroom and a Murphy bed, as well as a deck where they can spend time outside.
The units are all named for soldiers killed in the line of duty.
The complex also includes support for mental health and addictions, as well as a family space to help those vets and get them feeling good again.
The program uses expert staff from Veterans Affairs Canada and the Mustard Seed to figure out what each resident needs.
“They get an understanding of what support they need, whether that be post-traumatic stress, whether they’re dealing with addiction, career re-training, education and so forth,” said David Howard, president and co-founder of the Homes For Heroes Foundation.
“But the whole idea is to build that package and to help the veteran work through that.”
The tiny home village is the first of its kind in Canada, but Howard says they have land agreements in place in Edmonton and Ontario with interest from several other cities across the country.
Calgary-based ATCO contributed $1.5 million to design and manufacture the tiny homes, setting up the site along 36th Street S.E. and Canadian Pacific raised more than $800,000 for the initiative over the past three years.
Homes For Heroes was founded by Howard and Murray McCann, who also started the Field of Crosses, the poignant annual display of remembrance along Memorial Drive.