Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76 hopes to conduct research on homelessness among veterans. (RCL Branch 76 photo)

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76 hopes to conduct research on homelessness among veterans. (RCL Branch 76 photo)

Legions work together to battle homelessness among veterans

Qualicum Beach council offers support for Branch 76’s quest for answers

How many homeless Canadian veterans are there in Parksville Qualicum Beach and the Comox Valley region?

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76 wants to know. The branch has the support of Town of Qualicum Beach and is collaborating with Branch 17 in Courtenay.

Last August, town council passed a motion to support ways to address veterans homelessness. On Nov. 18, council re-emphasized that commitment by supporting Branch 76’s application to the Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation under the NHS Research and Planning for funding to determine the number of homeless veterans in the region.

Coun. Scott Harrison made the motion to have council write a letter of support and also commit the first $3,000 to support the application.

READ MORE: Johns talks grants, veteran housing pilot with Qualicum Beach council

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns and North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney both endorsed the initiative and submitted letters of support to the CMHC.

“There is no question that we have veterans struggling with homelessness in our communities on Vancouver Island,” said Johns. “It is exciting that we have come together as a group with the Qualicum Beach Legion and the Town of Qualicum Beach to determine the extent and nature of this problem as a first step. Veterans homelessness is unacceptable to me and I am committed to helping in any way possible.”

“Rural communities are often forgotten when considering issues around housing and homelessness but that does not make the issue any less acute or the situation veterancs experiencing homelessness in these communities any less dire,” Blaney stated in her letter to the CMHC.

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