Housing and service centre for veterans to open in north Edmonton

The Alberta government announced Friday it is investing $3 million in a new Veterans Service Centre and transitional housing project in north Edmonton.

'Key in helping ensure veterans at risk of homelessness have the supports they need'

Edmonton MLA Nicole Goehring, second from left, unveils plans for a new veterans service centre. (Government of Alberta)

The Alberta government announced Friday it will invest $3 million in a new Veterans Service Centre and transitional housing project in north Edmonton.

The centre at 12325 97th St. will help link veterans to a range of services, including transitional housing, employment and training, and crisis supports, the Alberta government said Friday in a news release.

Some people who have served in the military can have a difficult time transitioning to civilian life, said MLA Nicole Goehring, the Alberta government liaison to the Canadian Armed Forces.

"This new service centre and transitional housing will be key in helping ensure veterans at risk of homelessness have the supports they need," Goehring said in the news release.

The facility will be managed by Veterans Emergency Transition Services Canada. VETS Canada will also lead the intake process for veterans in need of housing.

The organization has spoken with thousands of veterans across the country, said Debbie Lowther, chair and co-founder of the organization.

"We have learned that those who are struggling are in desperate need of a one-stop shop," Lowther said. 

The service centre is near an apartment building purchased by the Alberta government that will provide transitional housing for 15 homeless veterans, the release said.

Up to $75,000 to furnish the suites in the building is being provided by the Royal Canadian Legion, Alberta-NWT Command.

The service centre is expected to be open before the end of the year, with veterans expected to begin moving into the transitional housing in coming months, the release said.