For thou­sands of vet­er­ans liv­ing on the street in Canada,

StarMetro Calgary - - FRONT PAGE - OMAR MOSLEH

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 thes­­mon­ton

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

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