Legion reaches out to homeless veterans in Thunder Bay
'It's a difficult transition for some and some don't make it,' Branch 5 outreach worker says
A recent count of homeless people in Thunder Bay, Ont., identified 13 military veterans living on the streets in the city — people that a local legion is trying to locate and help.
John Harju received a medical discharge from the Canadian Forces for post-traumatic stress disorder. Now he's working with the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 5 in Thunder Bay to offer support to fellow veterans.
"I understand that struggle, the difficulties these folks have," Harju said. "It's a difficult transition for some and some don't make it."
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Harju is working with Allan Campbell, the service officer for Branch 5 on the outreach project.
Campbell said he wasn't surprised to hear the number of veterans who are homeless in the city.
"A few of them get lost after [their military service]," Campbell said. "Veterans are very proud and a lot of them won't reach out for help."
The pair are talking to local agencies that serve homeless people in an attempt to identify veterans and connect them with the services available to them through the legion and the federal government.
"We're going to put the boots to the ground and work together to find these people," Campbell said.