SHS is a volunteer activity, initiated within the Headquarters staff of the Canadian Joint Operations Command, which seeks to connect:
– homeless veterans and/or
– veterans or serving members on a trajectory to be homeless
with the services and benefits to which they are entitled.
The guiding premise is that those in need / at risk are pre-disposed to self-identify to serving members who they encounter volunteering at missions, shelters, community out reach or other gathering places. SHS volunteers in turn facilitate the connexion of those in need to the appropriate sources of support for their housing, health or other needs.
SHS volunteers attend selected locations in uniform (or otherwise make themselves identifiable as serving members) with the intent of facilitating engagement with, and self-identification from, homeless veterans. During any engagement, volunteers attempt to assess the individual’s situation, and determine which services can be brought to bear to assist his/her situation.
Follow-up action includes:
– directing vets to specific service providers within the local support network;
– facilitating attendance at appointments/interviews;
– providing a sympathetic ear and camaraderie;
– assistance in making connection(s) and assistance in completing such paperwork as may be required to access services.
SHS actions are supported by a large network of partners, among them the City of Ottawa, the Ottawa Police Service (OPS), the Royal Canadian Legion (RCL), Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services/Support our Troops, Helmets-to-Hardhats, the Ottawa Mission, the Shepherds of Good Hope, The Ottawa Freedom Centre, Inner City Ministries, The Wellness Soldier, The Warhorse Project.