(TMU) — Over a dozen veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces, who have been living on the streets, will soon have pristine new homes and a small community to call their own.
The Homes for Heroes village in southeast Calgary is just the first new community being built for needy former troops in Canada. The village is comprised of 15 tiny houses arranged in a horseshoe shape around an open green courtyard space. The homes themselves are equipped with cable television, kitchens, and outdoor decks.
Just like their counterparts in the United States, Canadian veterans have a particularly tough time re-adapting to civilian life, especially after overseas deployments that take a harsh physical and psychological toll, making the search for homes and jobs difficult.
An estimated 3,500 veterans are either experiencing homeless or living on the brink, according to CTV News.
David Howard, the president and co-founder of the Homes For Heroes Foundation, told Globe Newswire:
“Our team at the Homes For Heroes Foundation has met with hundreds of veterans who are in crisis and experiencing homelessness.
We wanted to build a program that can help them with a successful transition to civilian life. Our veterans are proud warriors, proud of their service, and proud to be citizens of Canada. They want a hand-up, not a hand-out. We listened to what they had to say, and we designed our foundation around meeting their needs.”
Toward that end, the complex is equipped with a resource center, a counselor’s office, and a suite for visiting family. Residents will have access to mental health support, job training, mentoring, case management, community gardens, and memorials.
Each home also will bear a plaque outside the door dedicated to fallen military personnel in “recognition to those that gave the ultimate sacrifice,” Howard said.
Opening the first tiny home village for veterans experiencing homelessness in Calgary November 1st. We want to thank all our partners for their support in helping us open the first of many Homes for Heroes Villages. Tenants move in November 1st. https://t.co/C8evqA2A6I pic.twitter.com/mCTSzVgiDh
— Homes For Heroes Foundation (@homes4heroesfdn) October 24, 2019
The Homes For Heroes Foundation built the village in collaboration with social service provider Mustard Seed and the Calgary-based company ATCO, reports CBC.
Retired military police officer Don Mcleod, who works with Mustard Seed to counsel and support the vets, said that it remains difficult for veterans to get past feelings of self-blame and shame over their rough situation, making it a challenge for them to access available services. He added:
“They don’t feel that they are deserving of anything and the position they are in right now is their own fault and there’s nothing that can be done for them.”
However, Howard believes that it is the community that hasn’t done enough up to this stage. Howard himself is the grandson of a World War II veteran who suffered from PTSD and other issues resulting from his service. He added:
“What I saw was somebody who served our country, he came back broken and we weren’t there to help.”
According to Howard, the villages cost anywhere from $3.5 to $5 million CAD to create—or roughly $2.7 million to $3.8 million USD. He remains hopeful that the pilot village will provide a model for future communities for vets in need. Howard said:
“Together we are stronger, together we can create a program and we believe this will be successful.”
Keanu Reeves Praised As Video of Him Offering Seat to Lady in Subway Resurfaces
Keanu Reeves is an actor who has long been loved by audiences —and not necessarily due to his acting skills, but due to how nice the John Wick star is.
And now, Reeves is once again earning praise as a “true gentleman” after resurfaced video footage shows Reeves giving up his seat on the subway.
The clip was shared by Instagram film fan account Cinemonkeys where it has since earned nearly 45,000 likes.
The video footage dates back to 2011, when it was shared on YouTube by a user of the video-sharing platform.
At the time, Reeves was already a superstar riding on the fame he earned from the Matrix, Speed, and a number of other blockbuster hits.
When Reeves notices a woman carrying a heavy bag, he quickly points to his seat and asks if she would like to sit. The woman accepts and Reeves gets up without hesitating to let her take his seat.
Reeves, ever the model citizen, then stands and holds onto a subway pole while carrying his bag.
The video has since been watched over 27 million times and was even cited in a 2019 Time magazine profile of the actor describing Reeves as the “soul mate” of the internet.
The resurfacing of the clip on Instagram once again impressed users of the platform.
“This human being’s soul honestly shines so bright,” wrote one user.
“OMG I love him in every single way,” another person commented.
“His kindness knows no bounds,” commented someone else.
Keanu is set to reprise his role as Neo in the upcoming fourth Matrix film directed and written by Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the earlier trilogy with her sister Lilly. He will also return to the silver screen in John Wick: Chapter 4, which will be released in 2022.
Drunk Man Rescues Injured Baby Bird By Sending It To Animal Shelter… In An Uber
An injured baby bird received a new lease on life after a young man who was inebriated had the good sense to send the little creature to an animal shelter because he and his friends were too drunk to drive.
In the Summer of 2019, a small lesser goldfinch suddenly appeared by itself at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The center’s chairman, Buz Marthaler, was notified by a volunteer who sent him a photo.
“It was a picture of this bird, and it had come by Uber,” Marthaler told FOX13. “It was just crazy.”
As it turns out, the tiny bird – which was only two weeks old – indeed rolled up to the site by its lonesome, the sole passenger in an Uber vehicle called by concerned citizens who found the injured creature.
Among those good Samaritans was Tim Crowley, who had been “day drinking” on that Saturday before he and his buddies witnessed the little bird fall from the sky.
“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” he explained.
Crowley then snapped a photo of the bird and sent it to the WRCNU, which instructed him to immediately bring the bird in. However, the group obviously couldn’t drive since they had been guzzling booze all day.
So Crowley decided he’d hail a cab for the creature.
“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’” he said. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’”
As it turns out, the bird – since named “Petey Uber” by staff at the rescue center – likely would have perished if not for Crowley’s quick thinking.
Marthaler remains impressed by Crowley’s move and shared the news on its Facebook page.
“While we feel we’ve seen it all and can’t be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong,” the shelter’s post read. “Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well.”
Binx the Cat, Who Survived Florida Condo Collapse, Found and Reunited With Family
Amid the tragedy of last month’s collapse of a South Florida condo building, there was a tiny bit of good news when a cat named Binx, who lived on the ninth floor of the Surfside building, was found safe and returned to his family.
“I’m glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the lives of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava in a Friday press conference, reports NPR.
Levine Cava explained that a volunteer who feeds street cats in the area recognized the cat near the building before bringing him to an animal shelter, where it was then identified.
Gina Nicole Vlasek, the co-founder of the The Kitty Campus rescue group, posted on Facebook that a black cat had been found near the rubble of the group before it was brought to the shelter on Thursday night.
“We are so grateful to be able to help in any small way,” Vlasek said.
“All we needed was a ray of hope in this tragedy,” she continued. “Today was one of the most amazing days.. one of the survivors came to see the cat and to determine if it was her families cat and IT WAS!”
The mayor said that animal control workers are continuing to work to recover any pets that may have survived the horrible collapse.
The 12-story Surfside condo collapsed on June 24. At least 79 people have been confirmed dead, with 61 additional residents remaining unaccounted for.
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