Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Rotary Club of Toronto is hosting a luncheon tomorrow, May 11 in support of the Homes for Heroes Foundation, a registered charity in Canada dedicated to helping military veterans facing homelessness that will feature the organization’s co-founder and CEO Dave Howard as keynote speaker.
He is expected to talk about the organization’s work in areas including the construction of urban villages for veteran tenants in major cities across the country that consist of 15 to 25 individual “tiny homes” arranged in a park-like setting. The Rotary Club of Toronto says it is working with Homes for Heroes to build a veteran’s village in Toronto.
The ATCO veteran’s village, supported by citizens, corporate sponsors and service clubs, opened in Calgary for veteran tenants in 2019 and is housing 15 previously homeless veterans.
Each of the homes built by ATCO has a footprint of 275 square feet and is fully supplied with all the features of a larger home. The small kitchen includes a fridge, oven, sink, built-in storage, a breakfast bar and a workstation. The three-piece bathroom features a shower/tub, toilet, sink and additional storage. The living area includes a dual function sofa bed and storage. Each unit is provided with basic cable, Wi-Fi and a cellphone. The village also incorporates a central resource centre, social workers office, community garden and other amenities.
Howard, who owns several businesses and has been involved in various charitable endeavors he has spearheaded for the last 25 years, says he was shocked to learn that as many as 5,000 veterans are living on the streets in Canada and was determined to do something about it. He hired a researcher and together they met with over two hundred veterans to better understand what a homeless program dedicated to veterans needed to include to be successful.
The luncheon will also feature Sandra Perron, the founder and CEO of The Pepper Pod, a
retreat center for women veterans. She is the bestselling
author of Out Standing in the Field, a memoir (soon-to-be
movie) about her career in the Canadian military and her
experience as Canada’s first female infantry officer before leaving the military in