THE BATTLE ISN’T OVER
For thousands of veterans living on the street in Canada,
EDMONTON—A sunken scar runs from the bridge of Tim Senft’s nose to the crest of his cheek under his left eyelid. A veteran of the Gulf War, Senft’s most noticeable scars are not from combat — they’re from scraps on the street.
“What kind of dumbass would fight a soldier? You know I’m gonna get back up,” Senft says gruffly while puffing on a cigarette outside the Early Bird Café, an Edmonton diner that offers free coffee to local homeless folk in the early morning.
Senft is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces who served for five months in Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Although he draws his ancestry
back to Sturgeon Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan, he was born in Edmonton and spent most of his life in York, Pa., with foster families after social services took him from his home at 3 due to his parents’ heavy drinking.
Senft is homeless, and still battles demons from his time in combat. After returning to Canada in 2008, he bounced around the country before settling in Edmonton. He worked for some time at a hotel before losing his job and finding himself without stable housing since 2012.
Jim Lowther, co-founder of VETS Canada, estimates the number of homeless veterans is between 6,000 to 7,000. The full story at thestar.com/edmonton
Tim Senft, a Gulf War veteran who is now homeless, shown at the Peace Plaza in Edmonton. He served for five months in Saudi Arabia in 1991. CODIE MCLACHLAN/STARMETRO EDMONTON