Calgary foundation to house homeless veterans

Homeless veterans in Calgary will soon have a permanent place to call home.

Thanks to the Calgary Homeless Foundation, a new building will house those who have served our country but have lived on the streets and in shelters for years.

One Calgarian CBC spoke to last year on Remembrance Day couldn’t be happier.

For the past eight years, Brian Decker has called Calgary’s Drop-In Centre home.

"The accommodations, well it's not a four-star hotel, but I mean, on the third floor anyway, there's clean sheets and a bed," he said.

Everything Decker owns fits into a locker.

"Just stuff, clothes, things, you know, that's it," he said.

Last year, Decker talked to CBC about his time in the Canadian Navy aboard frigates for nearly 10 years.

But then he fell on tough times.

"Never been much of a saver. Mrs. passed away, old age and I don't know, only me," he said.

But this year, Decker could be moving from a room that houses 250 people into a bedroom of his own.

"Cupboard space galore,” Decker exclaimed as he reviewed the new housing unit.

He said a double bed could easily fit in the space, a far cry from the locker and mat where he lived.

The apartment building is now owned by the Calgary Homeless Foundation and will soon be home to others like Decker, men who have served their country but have no home to call their own.

"I mean he's exactly the kind of guy we're looking to help,” said Calgary Homeless Foundation president Tim Richter, adding he was previously unaware of the veteran’s homelessness problem.

But now the foundation will be looking to help those veterans. The building will be ready before Christmas.

For Decker, he’s looking forward to relaxing in his new space.

"Come home, sit down, put my feet up on the coffee table and watch a hockey game, and maybe have a brew,” he laughed.

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