Listen

Canada: Veterans Ombudsman Seeks Homeless Stats

Canada's ombudsman for veterans wants to find out how many former military and RCMP members are homeless and without the services they need.

Retired Col. Pat Stogran was appointed Canada's veterans' ombudsman in November 2007; in June 2008 he launched the "Leave Nobody Behind" Campaign. The campaign is meant to identify both veterans and former RCMP members who lack the services they need.
Strogan will tour homeless shelters in Calgary next week to determine if some of Canada's fighting men and women are being left behind.
"From my perspective, the thought of somebody who served their country stuck in a homeless shelter causes me grief," he said.
"We know it exists, what we don't know is the scope of the problem."
Stogran has toured homeless shelters in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick and has heard plenty of anecdotal evidence that veterans who served as far back as the Second World War are living without a roof over their heads. He wants to know the extent before determining his next move.
Dermott Baldwin, executive director of the Calgary Drop-In Centre, is not surprised that there are veterans living on the street..
Baldwin has helped those who served in the Second World War, Korea and Afghanistan, many of whom become long-term clients of the shelter.
"It's certainly not uncommon -- we've had a lot of veterans, both Canadian and American," Baldwin said.
The fact that there are veterans who are not getting the services they need and have earned is a national disgrace.