The circumstances that can lead to Veteran homelessness can involve many issues, from financial, to mental health, to family circumstances, to failures with the system, and much more. The Royal Canadian Legion is actively involved in advocating for supports and solutions for homeless Veterans.
Primary advocacy position(s) on this issue:
- Government to develop a homeless Veteran strategy that coordinates the efforts of national service providers and organizations to identify priority areas and gaps in several key areas including causes of homelessness, outreach and communication, services and programs, accessibility and coordination of effort.
- The strategy should make use of research already present in this domain, and then identify any gaps in knowledge and service delivery.
- It must be coordinated with the work of other service providers.
- We want evidence of progress on the government’s own plan to end homelessness. In June 2019, the government passed Bill M-225 Veteran Homelessness in Canada, with a goal of ending Veteran homelessness by 2025. The plan was supposed to be presented to the House by June 2020, led by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development – and supported by the Minister of Veterans Affairs. To date, we have not received any updates.
The Royal Canadian Legion continues to be fully involved in working to find solutions for homeless Veterans. Our ‘Leave the Streets Behind’ program provides emergency financial support, and short term and long-term solutions to help homeless or near homeless Veterans get off the streets and into a home of their own. Each year, the Legion coordinates the annual Legion's Veterans Homelessness Advisory Committee to help develop a coordinated approach across all stakeholders to address the issue.