Construction is about to start on Edmonton’s new Homes for Heroes village.
The community of tiny homes is set to open in October and will welcome vulnerable and at-risk military veterans.
“In Edmonton, we know that there’s over 200 hundred veterans. We already have a waiting list for the Edmonton village. We could build two villages in Edmonton if we had the funding to do so,” Homes or Heroes Foundation president Dave Howard said.
Howard said the homes are already being built in Calgary and will be constructed in the community of Evansdale in Edmonton.
“The village consists of 20 homes, a full resource centre, two councillors offices, community gardens and outdoor recreational space,” Howard said.
The foundation not only aims to provide housing but also wrap around services.
As a veteran, Cameron Duggan said he understands what many veterans have experienced and is grateful to see fellow vets get the support they need.
“We determine what the causes were that made them homeless in the first place and then provide the counseling, the resources and the training they’ll need to make the transition successfully. We want them to leave ideally employed, stable, secure, self-sufficient, in the long term,” Military veteran and Homes for Heroes Foundation director of fund development Cameron Diggon said.
Howard said the already existing ATCO village in Calgary which opened in 2019 has experienced success.
“We’ve had six veterans already come in and move out, meaning they’ve re-integrated back to civilian life,” he said.
Howard said the foundation was hoping to have its doors open six months ago but the COVID-19 pandemic lead to costs increasing by 40 per cent and some committed funding backing out.
Regardless of a few obstacles, Howard said he looks forward to seeing the Edmonton village open and helping those who need it most.
“There’s a great need in Edmonton and quite frankly across the country; there’s over 5,000 veterans. They’re experiencing homelessness and unfortunately not enough is being done about it,” Howard said.
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