On March 2, 2019, Veterans Emergency Transition Services Canada (VETS Canada) held their third annual In Her Boots Event. This event involves volunteers visiting shelters and centres looking for female veterans who are homeless or are at risk in order to provide much-needed assistance. They also provide comfort items that have been donated. In Her Boots takes place at locations coast to coast across Canada.
VETS Canada is the largest 24/7 Canadian organization dedicated to addressing the emergency needs of homelessness and at-risk Veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP. They have dedicated volunteers across Canada who use a unique model of peer support to provide lifesaving aid. Since 2010, VETS Canada has received thousands of requests for assistance.
“A significant percentage of the Veterans we assist are female, yet most Canadians are unaware that homelessness is a real concern amongst women who have served. We need to change public perception if we are to effectively tackle the issue,” said Debbie Lowther, co-founder and Chair of VETS Canada.
It was this lack of awareness that caused VETS Canada to create the In Her Boots event. They wanted to use this event is to get people talking about the topic of homelessness, and related issues, in female veterans. “Even though females make up a significant proportion of the Canadian Armed Forces, the archetype of a Veteran remains male,” comments Debbie Lowther.
Last year’s In Her Boots event was very successful. They had volunteer teams visiting local centres and shelters in most provinces. Not only did they bring donations to women and families in need, but they were also able to help raise awareness on this issue and the services VETS Canada provides.
Visit VETS Canada for more information on how to volunteer.