Life for some Canadian veterans experiencing homelessness could become better soon thanks to a new tiny house village in Edmonton. The Albertan society called Homes for Heroes is planning to build affordable places to live and it looks just like a tiny village. Homes for Heroes president Dave Howard expects construction on the Edmonton village to finish around October or November of 2020.
This housing project hopes to help the often-difficult process of readjusting to civilian life that leaves many veterans homeless, said Howard to Narcity.
"The goal is to work on the issues that got them there, and to resolve their issues so they can transition to civilian life," he said.
Each veteran works with a counsellor to address their individual needs, in order to make as good a recovery as possible, explained Howard.
"This project is possible because of the support we've gotten. Canadians as a whole love and support our veterans," he continued.
Right now, they're just in the pre-planning stage and are looking to be located in the neighbourhood of Evansdale.
There are 20 tiny houses planned in each village and they're all smaller than 300 square feet.
Their homes come with all the features of larger houses, just smaller. Each house comes with its own washroom, bedroom, and other comforts.
The smaller size also makes the houses both cheaper to build and to maintain. Plus, it reduces their environmental footprint.
The Edmonton project is the second of the villages built by Homes for Heroes. The first was built in Calgary and opened in November 2019.
The Homes for Heroes Foundation plans to build a village of 15 to 20 homes for homeless veterans in Calgary, Albert… https://t.co/arG9zd8gEt— CAN Military Family (@CAN Military Family) 1524864618
Ian MacIvor was a reservist with the Calgary Highlanders for two years. He told CTV News that, after being diagnosed with a brain tumour, he was unable to work. He was left homeless for six months, during which he almost died from three assaults.
He's now living in the Calgary tiny homes village.
"This is perfect -- a roof over my head and some place I can sleep having nothing to worry about except making rent," he said to CTV News.
[rebelmouse-image 25967690 photo_credit="Hunter Tristan Design | Homes for Heroes" expand=1 original_size="1080x556"]
The villages themselves are laid out like a park and residents have access to an on-site full-time counsellor.
"The open concept and extensive landscaping produce a park-like atmosphere," reads their website. It goes on to say that the architecture and design of the villages are built to create "a sense of pride, identity, and ownership among the residents."
According to the Homes for Heroes Foundation, there are roughly 5,000 homeless veterans nationwide, and between 180 to 200 veterans living on the streets in Edmonton.