Veteran camping out to raise awareness about homelessness among veterans
Published Sunday, February 11, 2018 5:26PM EST
A homeless veteran from Winnipeg is camping out in Ottawa for one week.
Trevor Sanderson is in the capital for a rally planned on Parliament Hill for Thursday in support of veterans’ issues.
Sanderson says, “We don’t want money we want services, doctors. We want to be able to be out in public again, not be afraid to go into a Walmart and have a panic attack. That’s what we live with every day.”
Sanderson has made it his mission to fight for better support for veterans. Last year he walked 3,400 km across Canada. Along the way he volunteered and helped vulnerable veterans find support.
He says, “Unless people are willing to come out and show their support nothing is going to get accomplished. We have to stand together. And that’s what I am trying to do, get people to stand together.”
The number of homeless veterans that Veterans Affairs Canada is aware of in Canada has grown every year since 2015. On Jan. 1, 2015 the department reported a total of 475 on the government’s radar; as of Jan. 1, 2016 that number had grown to 578; and as of Jan. 1, 2017 there were 687 homeless veterans in Canada. That number grew to 770 by September 2017.
In the documents, Veterans Affairs Canada acknowledges that the department is only able to count veterans who self-identify as homeless and have been registered to receive services from the department.
Sanderson says he hopes to bring attention to the struggles some veterans face daily. He says, “We don’t have those luxuries that you would enjoy every day and we are willing to give it up to show our support so what are you willing to do.”
The rally on Parliament Hill is planned for Thursday, February 15th from 10am-4pm.