This week, we remember the sacrifices that veterans have made throughout our country’s history. We honour those who have served in both war and in peacetime, here in Canada and abroad.
On Tuesday, we honoured National Indigenous Veterans Day and today, we honour all veterans on Remembrance Day.
Lest we forget.
Remembrance Day is also an important day to reflect on the ongoing experience of veterans and their families in Canada.
Veterans are disproportionately impacted by homelessness and housing instability. An estimated 3,000 to 5,000 veterans experience homelessness in Canada. In 2019, the House of Commons passed a unanimous motion calling on the federal government to develop a plan to end veteran homelessness in Canada by 2025.
Included in this motion was a call for the development of a veteran homelessness program, modelled on the U.S. Housing and Urban Development – Veterans Administration Supportive Housing Program. That program has led to huge reductions in veteran homelessness in the United States.
Last week, the US National Alliance to End Homelessness and its partners announced that despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, veteran homelessness has been reduced in the US by 11% since 2020. And since 2010, American veteran homelessness has reduced in total by 55.3%.
In their 2021 budget, the government of Canada promised a veteran homelessness pilot project and in 2022 expanded on that pilot proposal to create a $62.2 million permanent program. This program has yet to materialize.
That’s why this Remembrance Day, we’re calling on the federal government to finally act on the 2019 House of Commons motion and urgently implement their promised veteran homelessness program.
Read more about how the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness is working with communities and veterans’ organizations to end veteran homelessness: