Prov­ince to in­vest in new ser­vice cen­tre for vet­er­ans

Edmonton Journal - - CITY - EMMA GRANEY egraney@post­media.com

Area vet­er­ans will soon have a on­estop shop to find hous­ing, get men­tal and phys­i­cal health sup­ports and re­ceive help se­cur­ing em­ploy­ment.

The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment is in­vest­ing $3 mil­lion in a new vet­er­ans ser­vice cen­tre and tran­si­tional hous­ing project in north Ed­mon­ton to help link vet­er­ans to a range of ser­vices. The non-profit Vet­er­ans Emer­gency Tran­si­tion Ser­vices (VETS) Canada will man­age cen­tre op­er­a­tions.

“From our re­search with thou­sands of in-cri­sis vet­er­ans across the coun­try, we have learned that those who are strug­gling are in des­per­ate need of a ‘one-stop shop’, a safe place where they can go and re­ceive im­me­di­ate sup­port and ser­vices from qual­i­fied per­son­nel and other vet­er­ans, with­out hav­ing to chase a re­fer­ral to an­other lo­ca­tion,” Deb­bie Lowther, VETS co-founder, said in a state­ment.”

The ser­vice cen­tre is lo­cated along pub­lic transportation routes with ac­cess to the down­town core, the op­er­a­tional stress in­jury clinic and the Ed­mon­ton Gar­ri­son. It’s steps from an apart­ment build­ing pur­chased by the prov­ince to pro­vide tran­si­tional hous­ing for 15 home­less vet­er­ans. The Royal Cana­dian Le­gion, Al­berta-NWT Com­mand, is con­tribut­ing up to $75,000 to fur­nish the suites in the build­ing.

It is ex­pected to be op­er­a­tional be­fore the end of the year, with vet­er­ans ex­pected to be­gin mov­ing into the tran­si­tional hous­ing in the coming months.

CEL­E­BRAT­ING AR­MISTICE

The Al­berta leg­is­la­ture grounds will host an event Sun­day cel­e­brat­ing 100 years since the end of the First World War. The Ar­mistice 100 Tribute will be­gin at 11 a.m. with a 21-gun salute. From 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Lord Strath­cona’s Horse (Royal Cana­di­ans) Mounted Troop will ride in First World War uni­forms on Cap­i­tal Plaza.

Other dis­plays in­clude mod­ern mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles, his­tor­i­cal in­ter­preters in First World War uni­forms, a Poppy Labyrinth, Mem­ory Wall and a 16-foot replica of the Menin Gate, the me­mo­rial to Bri­tish and Com­mon­wealth sol­diers that stands to­day near Ypres, Bel­gium.

99 Av­enue will be closed be­tween 107 Street NW and 108 Street NW.

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