Ontario government announced a $200,000 program to build a small village in the Kingston area for homeless veterans.
The announcement made on Nov. 10 said the Ontario government plans to convert a portion of a one-acre plot of land in the Kingston Provincial Campus into a “veteran village” with 25 pre-made modular homes.
“Our Veterans, who stepped up to serve our country deserve a place to call home,” said Steve Clark, the Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “These men and women were there when we needed them, and now it’s our turn to provide the support they deserve. Through this innovative housing solution our government is helping to improve the quality of life of some of Canada’s military heroes.”
Each home can accommodate one veteran and provides a private unit with a kitchen, living room, bathroom, and sleeping area.
Bryan Paterson, the Mayor of Kingston, said this program is the first of its kind in the province.
“We’re honoured to be the first city in Ontario to work with Homes For Heroes and the Ontario government to support our Veterans through the creation of this innovative project,” said Paterson. “Veterans have given so much to our country and we’re looking forward to playing a role in providing stable supportive housing, as these men and women look to reintegrate into our community.”
The Homes for Heroes Foundation is a registered charity on a mission to provide affordable housing and support to military veterans across Canada. The foundation said an estimated 5,000 veterans are experiencing homelessness in Canada.
“The Homes For Heroes program was created with direct input from our Canadian veterans,” said David Howard, the President of the Homes For Heroes Foundation. “We are thankful to have the support of the Province of Ontario and the City of Kingston. Both groups have shown incredible leadership, dedication, and support to end the issue of veteran homelessness. Together we are committed to helping those that once stood on guard for Canada.”
In a separate announcement on Nov. 10, the Ontario government said starting on Nov. 6, veterans will be allowed to find jobs in the Ontario Public Service (OPS) which were previously reserved for those already working in the OPS. This change came after a recent update to the Public Service Commission Employment Policy.