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March 9, 2020: Cameron Diggon, Homes for Heroes     Homes for Heroes Foundation

Our guests speaker was introduced by Marlene Doherty. Captain (Ret’d) Cameron Diggon has served in many leadership roles in the Canadian Arctic, Cyprus, West Germany and other Canadian assignments, receiving numerous decorations. After his retirement from the military, Cameron entered the oil and gas business, eventually founding his own private oil and gas production and development company.

He continued to serve, however, in senior leadership positions with a variety of Canadian, military-focussed charities, eventually assuming the role of Director of Funds Development with the Homes for Heroes Foundation in Calgary.

The Homes for Heroes Foundation is a registered national charity developed in response to the growing number of military veterans who are facing crises as they return to civilian life and find themselves on the path to homelessness.

The Foundation’s mission is to provide a caring, innovative and comprehensive solution to homelessness among our veterans. The organization was started by two gentlemen who, recognizing there was a problem, searched out the nature, the extent and the best practices to address it.

Two priorities surfaced: housing (first priority) and services (second priority, addressing PTSD and providing individually programmed counselling in various fields).

Conversations with some 200 vets clearly showed they wanted a hand up, not a hand-out, to begin a path back as proud Canadian citizens. The organization’s principal initiative has been to provide homes for their “clients”.

Homes are grouped into villages of 15 to 25 tiny homes, the optimum community size for the vets’ sense of community, familiarity and peer support. Transition back into society is a one- to three-year expectation.

The Calgary Veterans Village, with 15 homes, opened last October. With an estimated 5,000 homeless vets in Canada, the Foundation is working to construct similar villages across Canada. Each village also incorporates granite plaques recognizing and remembering fallen comrades.

The Foundation’s vision is that all of Canada’s veterans-in-need progress toward a secure and self-sufficient life through access to housing and a robust support system offering stability and dignity.

For more information, go to www.h4hf.ca.

Joe Klassen thanked our guest speaker for his informative presentation and presented him with our world-famous Boltman.

  • Gerry Meek, Cameron Diggon, and Joe Klassen Gerry Meek, Cameron Diggon, and Joe Klassen

reported by Les Morgan

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