Ottawa's Plan Not Good Enough for Disabled Vets, Advocate Says

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Re: Ottawa's Plan Not Good Enough for Disabled Vets, Advocate Says

Post by Teentitan on Sat 16 Jan 2016, 11:05

So it's the same ol', same ol' process. Sure DO's are going to re-open and they are hiring more people but until VAC stops this BS of vets coming to THEM instead of VAC going out and finding the homeless vets this is same shyte different government.

VAC will only go outside their office or the veterans home to a homeless vet IF they have an escort. Usually a cop. Just what a vet wants to see....a cop.

How about VAC hires some vets in each major city to go thru the soup kitchens, shelters to find vets so they can keep track of them and maybe help them. But as long as Jim Lowther (a definite Order of Canada recipient) does it VAC will just sit on their arse in warmth.
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Re: Ottawa's Plan Not Good Enough for Disabled Vets, Advocate Says

Post by Brasidas on Sat 16 Jan 2016, 11:16

Re-opening of the Veterans offices was a way to appease civil servants and get their vote. The people working there when the offices where open were ineffective and will be again.

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Re: Ottawa's Plan Not Good Enough for Disabled Vets, Advocate Says

Post by Teentitan on Sat 16 Jan 2016, 11:23

I hear that Brasidas....I hear that. Liberals love their overstaffed PSAC.
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Report that MVA Hehr working on housing plan for homeless Veterans with Audio link

Post by Guest on Sat 16 Jan 2016, 15:52

http://www.660news.com/2016/01/14/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, see attached audio in attached link above .
















Last edited by Sparrow on Sat 16 Jan 2016, 18:15; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Ottawa's Plan Not Good Enough for Disabled Vets, Advocate Says

Post by Guest on Sat 16 Jan 2016, 17:50

Yes I hope they approach a Veterans Affairs Office also...they have started a tracking system an there's also groups doing walk checks also...I doubt many will find their way into DVA as like some have stated these individuals are broken up an do not operate well under those types of conditions..but I think their on the right track in starting to find these individuals...look forward to some future positive results in getting those individuals off the streets an the help that they need an deserve.

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Re: Ottawa's Plan Not Good Enough for Disabled Vets, Advocate Says

Post by Guest on Sat 16 Jan 2016, 18:22

It is great to see how quickly the Government was able to prepare for the arrival of Refugees to Canada on such short notice and with what looks to be a success however what I would like to see from our Government is the same sense of urgency for Homeless Veterans. The refugee issue only demonstrates that the Government has the capability to implement an agenda with lightening speed. We need the same momentum now for Homeless Veterans. Nothing else should be of greater importance.

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Re: Ottawa's Plan Not Good Enough for Disabled Vets, Advocate Says

Post by Guest on Sat 16 Jan 2016, 18:29

Agreed...it really makes a person sad knowing that we have our own suffering day in an day out...lets hope they find these people an take care of them...soon.

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Article ~ How can Canada fail its domestic heroes?

Post by Guest on Sun 17 Jan 2016, 20:56

http://m.ottawasun.com/2016/01/16/how-can-canada-fail-its-domestic-heroes

At a street corner in Ottawa, a man stands beside an olive-coloured military duffel bag with his hands stretched out.

A cardboard box on top of his bag reads: "CND Army 25 YRS; U.N. NATO."

John, not his real name, has been sleeping at the Salvation Army's shelter in the Byward Market since last August. He's been panhandling at the same spot daily, morning to night.

"Begging for money is low ... it sucks," he says.

John is one of an estimated 2,250 veterans who are using shelters on regular basis in Canada. That estimate, from Employment and Social Development Canada, made headlines recently after it was released to The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

Questions and outrage soon followed. How was it possible that so many soldiers, in a country that says it holds them in high regard, are ending up on the street? How could Canada, set to take in thousands of newcomers from war-torn Syria, be failing its own domestic heroes so badly, some have asked.

John's story is one of their stories. And here is how he tells it: He was a sergeant posted at Petawawa. He had served since 1976 but after injuring his foot during a tour in Afghanistan, he was medically released in 2003. His lump sum of $18,000 from the military upon his release lasted less than a year because he had to give money to two ex-wives, he said.

It was in Afghanistan, John says, that he became addicted to heroin. He was offered a job, on base, as a civilian cook after his release, but he was fired after missing shifts and nodding off at work while going through a drug-treatment requiring methadone.

He calls his journey to homelessness was a "long, slow downward spiral." "I loved it (being in the military) ... I wouldn't have stayed that long if I didn't," he said. "I just want some help from Veterans Affairs, that's all." It's a sympathetic tale.

But it's not true. Not entirely, at least.

***

John's Canadian Forces file has no record of him being deployed to Afghanistan, although it confirms he was in Croatia between 1994 and 1995.

Although he was qualified as a soldier in the armour trade in the late 80s, he had changed his trade to cook in 1990 for an unknown reason.

He released from the military in 2008, for reasons officials can't disclose. His rank was corporal at the time of his release, two rank lower than sergeant.

So why change his real story? Especially since he really is a veteran?

John shrugs. "It doesn't matter what I say," he said. "They're going to say I'm my own worst enemy ... it was my fault," he said. "I've lost my house, I've lost my car, everything." John said he was actually released from the military in 2008 - not in 2003 -- due to his drug addiction.

While the military was unaware he was going through a drug treatment program, he started missing work and had started nodding off during work, which resulted in his release, John said.

He added he's now clean but he would not receive help by Veterans Affairs Canada to get off the streets, since he didn't suffer from service-related injuries.

***

John is one of the kinds of veteran who can fall through the cracks in Canada.

Veterans Affairs supports only those that are medically released due to service-related injuries.

For example, if a military personnel gets injured while on vacation, he or she can't claim disability benefits from Veterans Affairs.

"There's a gap there that needs to be filled," says Walter Semianiw, a former lieutenant-general.

"When you're out, if it's not service related ... if you're a single, homeless vet, you're on your own."

Semianiw is a member of the Ottawa chapter of Veterans Emergency Transition Services Canada, a federally registered non-profit charity that helps homeless veterans get back on their feet. The Ottawa chapter opened about five months ago. It's the official partner of the Veterans Affairs for helping homeless veterans.

VETS Canada, which has a network of volunteers - most of them serving or ex-members of military or RCMP - helps homeless veterans. But it's ultimately up to Veterans Affairs to aid those in need for the long term, Semianiw said.

He said every medically released veteran should automatically receive a pension. While Semianiw himself has served for more than three decades, many military members are serving shorter terms, he said. And those serving less than 10 years don't get a pension, no matter how many oversea tours they've done.

"The military is a family that isn't there when you leave," Semianiw said.

***

Meanwhile, John knows he's out of luck when it comes to getting help from Veterans Affairs Canada.

He's also a father of two adult children that he hasn't seen for a while; they don't know he's on the streets and "They're not going to know." One recent day, he stood at his usual panhandling spot, while Lorne, another homeless veteran who spent a year at the Salvation Army's shelter, stopped by to say his goodbyes.

Lorne, an ex-army soldier who declined to be interviewed but said he suffered from severe PTSD, was off to a transitional hotel with a few volunteers from VETS Canada, who had found him during their monthly "Boots on the Ground" walk. During the walk, the volunteers visit various shelters to identify homeless veterans.

John told VETS Canada that he "wasn't ready" to get off the street, but he hasn't told them his whole story.

"There are lots of unfairness in the world," John said, after Lorne and the volunteers left. "Whether or not I say it's fair or unfair ... I'm going up against the big, green machine." He said PTSD contributed to his drug addiction. Symptoms of PTSD - which could have been caused at any time during his service - often show up down the road, he said.

"I did the best job I could when I was out there," he said, insisting he was never in the reserve forces, contrary to his file.

John said he wants to get off the street, although he doesn't know when that will be.

"Right now, I take it a day at a time ... I'm living day to day, living every moment like it's my last." He agreed with Semianiw that Veterans Affairs should help all veterans in need, whether the reasons for the member's release are service-related or not.

"All of us should get the same break," John said.

"If it comes down to putting people in certain boxes, then very few people are going to get help."

julienne.bay@sunmedia.ca

Resources for veterans:



- Veterans Affairs Canada:

http://www.veterans.gc.ca/

- Canada Company:

A charity organization that offers Military Employment Transition Program and more.

https://www.canadacompany.ca/

- VETS (Veterans Emergency Transition Services) Canada:

A Canada-wide network offering veterans emergency transition services, focusing on homelessness.

http://vetscanada.org/

- Helmets to Hardhats Canada

http://www.helmetstohardhats.ca/

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Re: Ottawa's Plan Not Good Enough for Disabled Vets, Advocate Says

Post by Guest on Sun 17 Jan 2016, 21:03

I have to query what MVA Hehr and GOC proposes to do in  such cases as the above whereby a Homeless Veteran can not receive help by Veterans Affairs Canada to get off the streets, if they didn't suffer from service-related injuries and/or were not diagnosed while in the military. As we know, often times symptoms and a diagnosis can come after the member has been medically released without a proper diagnosis.

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Re: Ottawa's Plan Not Good Enough for Disabled Vets, Advocate Says

Post by Guest on Sun 17 Jan 2016, 21:15

Poor guy!

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Re: Ottawa's Plan Not Good Enough for Disabled Vets, Advocate Says

Post by Brasidas on Mon 18 Jan 2016, 13:33

That's painful to read.

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Re: Ottawa's Plan Not Good Enough for Disabled Vets, Advocate Says

Post by Brasidas on Tue 19 Jan 2016, 09:34

If the governments exclusion from ISIL meetings today is an indicator, we can see how other countries think about Liberals policies on the military.  The other countries know that a Liberal government does little for the military.
Hugs and sunshine are just great, aren't they?

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