Documents show myriad federal agencies crafting plan for homeless veterans

Documents show myriad federal agencies crafting plan for homeless veterans

OTTAWA — Internal government documents show four federal departments have quietly spent months crafting an answer to a cross-party call for the government to end veterans homelessness by 2025.

The motion passed the House of Commons in June before the fall federal election.

It called for the government to deliver by next summer a plan to meet the target, which also included a special rent-assistance program for homeless veterans.

Accurate data about the number of homeless veterans in Canada remains elusive, but various studies peg the number at between 3,000 and 5,000 people, about 10 per cent of them women.

Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen has told stakeholders in meetings of his interest in moving quickly on the issue given the cross-party support for the effort and identifiable policy options.

The Liberals’ throne speech this month included a promise that the government will help ensure “that every homeless veteran has a place to call home,” although it didn’t provide a timeline to do so.