Minister of Veterans Affairs announces planned extension of the contract with VETS Canada
June 10, 2017 – Ottawa – Veterans Affairs Canada
Canada's women and men in uniform have served our country with bravery, honour and dignity—putting their lives at risk to protect the values we cherish most. Our Veterans deserve our greatest recognition and respect for their service.
The Honourable Kent Hehr announced today that they plan to extend the contract with Veterans Emergency Transition Services (VETS) Canada until March 31, 2018.
Veterans Affairs Canada’s contract with VETS Canada to provide outreach services and assistance to Veterans in crisis was scheduled to expire in May 2017. The Department recognizes the value of this service and is working to put measures in place to ensure ongoing outreach and assistance to at-risk Veterans. Until that work is finalized, VETS Canada will continue to deliver outreach services to this vulnerable population.
VETS Canada services include in-person, online, and telephone assistance to help Veterans who are homeless or in crisis with securing temporary shelter, referrals or related support including access to Government of Canada programs and benefits.
“Homelessness can be linked to mental or physical injury, financial instability, substance abuse and unemployment, to name a few. That is why I have been focused on putting the necessary supports in place such as programs to improve mental health and financial security. These programs, along with this continued partnership with VETS Canada can truly have life-changing impacts for at-risk Veterans."
The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
“VETS Canada is pleased to continue our partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada in providing on-the-ground outreach to seek out at-risk and homeless Veterans and get them the help they need from VAC and other levels of government.”
Jim Lowther, Director, VETS Canada
In 2014, Veterans Affairs Canada entered into a one-year contract with VETS Canada, with two — one year options to extend the contract period to three years. The total value of the contract was $1,160,000.
VETS Canada works to support Veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces and former members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who are homeless or at risk.
VETS Canada's team of volunteers includes still-serving and retired members of the Canadian Armed Forces and still-serving and retired members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Additionally, VAC administers an Emergency Fund to assist Veterans in meeting immediate emergency needs. At-risk Veterans and homeless Veterans can also access emergency funds from other sources, including the Royal Canadian Legion —Financial Assistance (Poppy Fund); the Royal Canadian Naval Benevolent Fund and the Canadian Forces Personnel Assistance Fund.
Through the VAC Assistance Service, Veterans can reach a professional counsellor at any time—24 hours a day, 365 days a year—by calling 1-800-268-7708.
On June 10, 2017, VETS Canada is hosting its second annual Coast to Coast Tour of Duty in 17 communities across Canada, including Halifax, Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver. The goal of the event is to raise awareness for Veteran homelessness and to locate Veterans on the streets or in shelters in need of help.
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
Veterans Affairs Canada
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