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Veteran Homelessness / Topics & Posted Articles

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Re: Veteran Homelessness / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Guest on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 06:50

VOICE OF THE PEOPLE | JAN. 15, 2016

What about homeless vets?

Re: “Hypocrisy of generosity.” I totally agree with Charlie Tischler’s comments (Jan. 8 letter).

I just read the paper and saw on the national news recently that there are approximately 2,250 veterans living in shelters or on the street. These are the men and women who fought for freedom of this country and for the freedom of those whom we now call refugees.

I find it hard to understand why ordinary people, developers, churches, etc., have not stepped up to give them new apartments to live in, clothes and furniture, as they did for refugees from Syria. What is it? Perhaps they fear that if they support the veterans, they won't get any news space or TV time.

I feel that not only these veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces, but all those Canadians who need a place to live — instead of on top of a vent, under a bridge or in a homeless shelter — deserve the same respect and help that Syrian refugees are getting.

Wake up, people. Look outside. There are people here who need our help as well. Let’s hope our new prime minister and the premier will give the same amount of time, money and support to those here in Canada who need help, and not just worry about looking good on the international scene.

Lest we forget.

Gerry Tucker, Valley

http://thechronicleherald.ca/letters/1333453-voice-of-the-people-jan.-15-2016

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Re: Veteran Homelessness / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Guest on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 06:45

Veterans minister Kent Hehr working on housing plan for homeless vets

Canada’s Minister of Veterans Affairs says he’s deeply concerned and has plans in the works to address the rate of homeless veterans in our nation.

It comes following a damning report that homelessness among Canadian soldiers is on the rise. Despite the grumblings of some that more is being done to help Syrian refugees.

It’s something that bothers Calgary Centre MP Kent Hehr.

At the 660 NEWS studios one homeless vet walked into the office wondering where his benefits were and who exactly was helping him. Hehr says it’s not a “zero-sum game.”

“Just because we’re helping Syrian refugees doesn’t mean we can’t move forward on a whole host of initiatives. And that’s exactly what this government is committed to,” say Hehr.

He says the government is moving forward on a national housing strategy, making investments in social housing and there are other things in the works. Hehr hopes that vet and others will approach a Veterans Affairs office.

To hear more from the interview with Kent Hehr on this subject, press play below.

http://www.660news.com/2016/01/14/veterans-minister-kent-hehr-working-on-housing-plan-for-homeless-vets/

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Re: Veteran Homelessness / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Rifleman on Thu 14 Jan 2016, 15:13

Man oh man this is sad come on GOC how much more do you have to read before you do something time to act is now !!!!

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Re: Veteran Homelessness / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Guest on Thu 14 Jan 2016, 15:04

United Way to conduct homeless count this month

Just before Christmas, a 39-year-old homeless veteran living on the streets of York Region, and struggling with post traumatic stress disorder after serving three tours of duty in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan, committed suicide.

The death of the soldier who served his country for 20 years is a tragic indication of the considerable, but often hidden problem of homeless veterans, Dave Gordon, executive director of the Aurora-based Royal Canadian Legion Ontario Provincial Command, said.

“They served our country; they served for our country. They wrote a blank cheque to our country and said, 'We’ll serve our country'. Our country expects folks to come forward. They did. Men and women have come forward, many of whom have given their lives. The veterans have created the peace we have in Canada today,” he said.

“A lot don’t come home. They have the Highway of Heroes. Their last trip in Canada was down the Highway of Heroes.”

Canada should be ensuring veterans, many of whom are discharged for medical or mental health concerns, don’t live their lives on the streets or couch surfing with friends and family, assistant executive director Pam Sweeny, said.

“The atrocities they have seen (while serving overseas) and then they come home and to think we’re not, as a country, equipping them with the ability to deal with what we put them through, so to speak, it’s the least we can do,” she said.

“There is no reason they should be living under these conditions, just because they offered to put themselves out there for our freedoms.”

Information released last week suggested that for what is believed to be the first time ever, the federal government has estimated the number of homeless veterans in Canada.

The report estimated 2,250 veterans turn to homeless shelters on a regular basis, which is about 2.7 per cent of the homeless population relying on temporary emergency housing.

At the same time, the government cautioned the data does not represent a complete picture.

Gordon believes there are “at least” 10,000 homeless veterans in Canada.

“We know that (2,250) number’s really low,” he said.

“I am always asked the question, ‘How many homeless veterans do you think there are?’ I would come back and say to you, ‘How many snowflakes do you think fell today?’ No idea. We know the need is there.”

A clearer picture of the number of homeless former soldiers living on the streets of York or turning to shelters is expected to come from the region’s first homeless count taking place this month.

Overseen by the United Way of Toronto and York Region, volunteers will spread out over the region during a 24-hour period to count as many homeless people as they can find in shelters and living outside.

The homeless will be asked if they have served with the Canadian military.

Data collected from the tally will allow social service agencies to improve their services for the homeless.

The Ontario Command runs Operation: Leave the Streets Behind, a homeless veterans assistance program offering former soldiers support with housing costs, food, clothing, basic living supplies, medical needs, emergency transportation, utility payments, moving costs and other expenses.

The program, which does not receive government funding, receives financial donations from legions and ladies’ auxiliaries.

Since the program began in November 2009, it has provided $1.2 million in assistance to Ontario veterans in 87 communities.

That includes two in Bradford, one in Aurora, one in Keswick, two in Newmarket, two in Richmond Hill, one in Woodbridge, one in Maple and one in Markham.

“There isn’t one community that isn’t affected (by the issue of homeless veterans), from the smallest to the largest,” the command’s assistant executive director, Juanita Kemp, said.

http://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/6232574-united-way-to-conduct-homeless-count-this-month/

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Re: Veteran Homelessness / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Guest on Wed 13 Jan 2016, 18:04

The Royal Canadian Legion assists homeless veterans

The Royal Canadian Legion has been assisting homeless veterans across Canada for many years. In 2010, Ontario Command started the Veterans Homeless Program called “Leave the Streets Behind” program.

The plight of homeless and near homeless veterans was of growing concern which is why the Legion launched our national homeless veterans program, modelled after the ‘Leave the Streets Behind’ program in 2012. Almost 1,000 homeless and near homeless veterans have been helped by the Royal Canadian Legion through this program.

The program’s mission is to reach out to homeless veterans, or near homeless veterans, by providing immediate financial assistance and support when and where needed. It also connects them with the appropriate social and community services to establish a long term solution to meet their needs.

If you are a veteran or you know a veteran that is homeless or near homeless please contact your local Legion service officer or P.E.I. Provincial Command service officer.

John Yeo,

President P.E.I. Command,

The Royal Canadian Legion

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Opinion/Letter-to-editor/2016-01-13/article-4402771/The-Royal-Canadian-Legion-assists-homeles

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Re: Veteran Homelessness / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by pinger on Tue 12 Jan 2016, 18:05

Understood. For the same reason I am blessed for not being a bureaucrat or politician.
I could be a good whip though? I keep mine very salty...
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Re: Veteran Homelessness / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Teentitan on Tue 12 Jan 2016, 17:47

It was his refusal to change tactics that I did not approve pinger. He had the heart to do the job he just didn't want to take the fight to the bureaucrats the only way to fight them....paperwork.

He never really understood "how" a veteran was treated until it was too late. This job should never go to anyone that takes the uniform off on Friday and puts a suit on Monday to start the job.

You need time as a vet and I told him that early in his job. If he was up for the job now he could be a good Ombudsman. Now he knows what a vet lives thru with VAC.
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Re: Veteran Homelessness / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by pinger on Tue 12 Jan 2016, 17:41

That's another book I have to read. But gotta read "A Soldier First" by Rick Hillier next.

I like Pat Stogran... a good guy. I know you did not appreciate him as OVO Teen, His going outside of his boxed position and all. I only had a chat with him once but the eyes are a dead giveaway...
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Re: Veteran Homelessness / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Ex Member on Tue 12 Jan 2016, 16:39

This guys the real thing! He knew, saw with his own eyes, lived in the atmosphere of the previous government . The truth is they didn't want to do a damn thing and think we are all fakers and whiners ! This guy deserves a medal for coming forward and surviving the Harper holocaust !

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Re: Veteran Homelessness / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Guest on Tue 12 Jan 2016, 15:48

Well this might be a book I may purchase , it's written by Pat Stogran an is called " Rude Awakening "

Rude Awakening
The Government's Secret War Against Canada's Veterans by Colonel (retired) Pat B. Stogran
Following a military career of over thirty years, which includes deployments to Bosnia and Afghanistan, Colonel Pat Stogran becomes Canada’s first Veterans Ombudsman. The new Office of the Veterans Ombudsman is intended to be a symbol of Canada’s commitment to the members and veterans of the Canadian Forces, who accept unlimited liability in the service of our country and often make traumatic, life-altering sacrifices. Colonel Stogran is proud to take the assignment, seeing it as an opportunity to give back to all those who serve. But in the next three years, as he encounters nothing but intransigence and malfeasance in the hallowed halls of government, he undergoes a rude awakening to the cesspool of callousness, deceit, and neglect that is the Government of Canada’s response to the needs of its veterans. Stogran’s exposure to the real Government of Canada, which is hidden from the view of mainstream Canadians, reveals that it is nothing like the myth that has been built up around it as a caring and committed model for the rest of the world. It is an experience he describes as more traumatic than the years he spent in war zones, and it will cause him to question what it really means to be a Canadian. Part shocking exposé, part dire and urgent warning, Rude Awakening reveals a culture of government that victimizes our veterans and could also very well threaten the quality of life we all enjoy as Canadians.

During the course of his long and honorable military career, Colonel Pat Stogran served as a United Nations Military Observer in Bosnia, where in 1994, he and his team were instrumental in saving the besieged enclave of Gorazde and its 45,000 inhabitants from a massacre at the hands of the Bosnian Serb Army. In the wake of 9/11, he led the Third Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry as it spearheaded the Canadian Forces historic mission in Afghanistan, marking the first occasion since the Korean War that Canada committed troops to ground combat operations against a declared enemy. Upon retirement from the military, Colonel Stogran served three years as Canada’s first Veterans Ombudsman, the experience he has chronicled in Rude Awakening. Having spent his entire adult life as a soldier, today he is committed to finding out who Pat the civilian is, and to giving back to his family who supported him so faithfully for so long through so much. In his retirement, Colonel Stogran occupies his time reading, writing, and talking about leadership. The Colonel hopes that by telling his story his knowledge and experience might serve to inspire the future leaders of Canada to reverse the alarming trend of corruption and incompetence that seems to have consumed our government. Colonel Stogran lives in Ottawa with his wife and children.

and could also very well threaten the quality of life we all enjoy as Canadians.

During the course of his long and honorable military career, Colonel Pat Stogran served as a United Nations Military Observer in Bosnia, where in 1994, he and his team were instrumental in saving the besieged enclave of Gorazde and its 45,000 inhabitants from a massacre at the hands of the Bosnian Serb Army. In the wake of 9/11, he led the Third Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry as it spearheaded the Canadian Forces historic mission in Afghanistan, marking the first occasion since the Korean War that Canada committed troops to ground combat operations against a declared enemy. Upon retirement from the military, Colonel Stogran served three years as Canada’s first Veterans Ombudsman, the experience he has chronicled in Rude Awakening. Having spent his entire adult life as a soldier, today he is committed to finding out who Pat the civilian is, and to giving back to his family who supported him so faithfully for so long through so much. In his retirement, Colonel Stogran occupies his time reading, writing, and talking about leadership. The Colonel hopes that by telling his story his knowledge and experience might serve to inspire the future leaders of Canada to reverse the alarming trend of corruption and incompetence that seems to have consumed our government. Colonel Stogran lives in Ottawa with his wife and children.

http://620ckrm.com/ckrm-on-air/ckrm-local-news/14851-former-veterans-ombudsman-writes-book-critical-of-former-harper-gover

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Re: Veteran Homelessness / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Dannypaj on Tue 12 Jan 2016, 06:39

WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?

We all know what needs to happen, but we let a handful of suits who hide behind the law and legislation ruin and devastate lives of Veterans and we are all okay with that?
Four years and if no substantial change we will build a ten thousand "virtual" veteran army and will make change happen. The Liberals were voted in by the veteran community in my opinion and what they are doing now to Vets is like playing with fire.  

Change is what we want and we will get it by networking ! ! ! and one message!
From what I am reading and discussing amongst current and former serving member is that VAC better get their shit together "soon", they are letting down a lot of Canadian Veterans.
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Re: Veteran Homelessness / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Guest on Tue 12 Jan 2016, 06:17

The Lynda Steele Show: Waking up to Canada’s homeless veterans

Earlier this month, Canadians learned that as many as 2,250 the the nations veterans have been forced onto the streets, living in homeless shelters across the country.

But while the revelation came as a shock to many, it was no surprise to retired Col. Pat Stogran, Canada’s former – and first – Veterans Ombudsman.

Stogran fought a long and public battle with the former Conservative government about conditions for Veterans – and began sounding the alarm over this exact issue seven years ago.

He says he first dug in after after a journalist asked him if the problem was an issue here, as it was in the U.S. and U.K.

“I was brand new to the job and I said I don’t know but I’ll get back to you. And when I went to the department to ask the question they basically said we don’t have that problem in Canada, and I thought that was a little bit naive.”

Stogran says he began checking in at homeless shelters across the country as a part of his travelling town halls on veterans issues. He says staff at the facilities quickly confirmed to him that Canada was no different from its allies.
“Oh, I was angry, angry, angry.”

Stogran says the federal government had no appetite to address the issue, going as far as to officially deny it.

“Really, during my three years as Veterans Ombudsman their intransigence was just gobsmacking.”

Stogran says after being repeatedly stonewalled, he “went rogue,” taking his message public.

He says he felt that if the government was prepared to let veterans who had bled for the country suffer, how would they treat ordinary Canadians?

But he says the experience took its toll – more than his tours in Bosinan and Afghan warzones.

“I haven’t felt the effects of trauma as badly as I did coming out of the job as Veterans Ombudsman. I just couldn’t believe having served the country for 30 years our government would knowingly disadvantage our own sons and daughters that had been butchered at behest of the government of the day.”

Positive change?

Stogran says while he found it theraputic to watch Canadians come together and vote for change, the jury is out on whether veterans will get a better deal.

“I have to say I will reserve judgement. I have no faith in the system. None of the mechanisms that have allowed the previous government to run amock have changed. We need genuine reform.”

He says until substantive policies are put in place to force government transparency and accountability, he fears nothing will change.

http://www.cknw.com/2016/01/11/the-lynda-steele-show-homeless-canadian-veterans/

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Re: Veteran Homelessness / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Ex Member on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 13:48

One homeless Veteran is too many. Thanks for posting this Trooper.

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Ex-ombudsman shocked it took Ottawa so long to track homeless vets

Post by Guest on Sun 10 Jan 2016, 18:28

OTTAWA -- Pat Stogran, Canada's first veterans ombudsman, vividly recalls being hauled into the minister's office one day in late 2008, where an angry, red-faced Greg Thompson -- the veterans minister of the day -- upbraided him for making public the issue of homelessness among ex-soldiers.
It was not an issue, Thompson allegedly told the extra infantry colonel, who had been selected for the watchdog post by a Conservative government eager to demonstrate that it was the best friend of the troops.
The encounter, chronicled in Stogran's book Rude Awakening: The Government's Secret War Against Canada's Veterans, was the beginning of the end of the rapport they'd enjoyed. And it eventually led to the Harper government not renewing Stogran's position in 2010.

Stogran says he tried unsuccessfully throughout his mandate to get the former Conservative government to recognize that homelessness among ex-soldiers was not only an issue, but a growing concern.
"They weren't going to do anything unless they got hit in the head with a hammer," said Stogran, who indicated the reluctance to acknowledge the problem extended to the veterans department as well.
What got him in trouble was the high-profile visits he made to homeless shelters across the country, where in 2009 -- despite being chewed out -- he began asking staff to collect data on whether shelter residents had any military service.
That data didn't make its way into the national registry in a co-ordinated way for five years.
"I'm gob-smacked it took until 2014 for them to actually pick up on it," Stogran said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
Last week, Employment and Social Development Canada released a report to The Canadian Press that estimates 2,250 former soldiers -- about 2.7 per cent of the total homeless population -- use shelters on a regular basis.
Some groups, such as the Royal Canadian Legion, say they believe the estimate is too low and point to the fact that a Legion outreach program has dealt with 425 homeless ex-soldiers in Ontario alone since 2009.
The current veterans ombudsman, who worked for Stogran, says he also recalls the former government balking at the notion that veterans were -- for one reason or another -- ending up on the streets.
"There was some argument with the minister at the time whether it was an issue. Obviously it is," Guy Parent said last week, reacting to the social development report. "Even one homeless veteran is too many."

Thompson was actually quite vocal in dismissing Stogran, telling The Canadian Press in a 2009 interview that his ombudsman produced no evidence of such a problem.
"He's never taken down one name of the homeless veterans that he's met. That is just beyond the pale," he said in May 2009.
"Why hasn't he forwarded those names to Veterans Affairs Canada, knowing full well we have the programs there to help them? Why would he be so insensitive to veterans as to not provide those names? It makes absolutely no sense."
The force of his argument may be somewhat diminished given that 2007 briefing notes, obtained by The Canadian Press under access to information, warned Thompson that the issue was something the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada wanted to talk to him about at the organization's annual meeting in May of that year.
"There have been a number of reports over the last year of people identifying themselves as veterans accessing food banks and homeless shelters in Alberta," said the May 10, 2007 note.
A few months after that interview, in November, Thompson introduced a trial outreach program meant to identify ex-soldiers on the streets.
Parent noted that the veterans department is working with an outreach group to combat the problem. And Kent Hehr, the new Liberal minister, told CBC Television's Power n' Politics last week that his ministry is working aggressively to reverse the trend.
But Stogran says the new minister is facing an entrenched bureaucracy that needed as much convincing as the Conservatives.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/ex-ombudsman-shocked-it-took-ottawa-so-long-to-track-homeless-vets-1.2731088

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Re: Veteran Homelessness / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by prawnstar on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 11:35

Well done Navrat.

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