Toronto Mike

After The Call Of Duty: How Ontario’s Veterans Can Smoothly Reintegrate Into Civilian Life

For many veterans, the challenges of civilian life present more difficulty than life on the front lines. The Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs reports that an average of 5,000 service members are discharged from active duty, and not all of them have an easy time readjusting. Canada has much to thank its veterans for. The least we can do for them is to ensure that their service is repaid in full, and then some.  

Building A Civilian Career

Reintegrating into civilian life often entails finding employment one way or another. Ontario has a few options for veterans to find a job. One of the most proven programmes is called Helmets to Hardhats. In partnership with the Council of Ontario Construction Associations and several other organizations, the program provides veterans with fast access to construction jobs all across the province.

In case you prefer other types of work, the Ontario College of Trades offers numerous courses to help you get job-ready, even while you’re still in the service. If you’re looking to go back to college, schools like Platt College offer support for veterans, such as financial aid and advanced placement. Those who want to try their hand at entrepreneurship, Canada Startups has a comprehensive list of grants and loan programs that are geared towards funding veteran-owned small businesses.

Gaining Affordable Housing

The government of Ontario came to realize that affordable housing for all should be one of their main priorities in order to get the province back on its feet after last year’s economic turmoil. That’s why several ministries put together $1.5 million to build homes for veterans on the brink of homelessness or currently homeless in Ottawa. Outside the capital, The Royal Canadian Legion’s Leave The Streets Program is housing homeless and near-homeless veterans in Ontario and beyond.

However, if you’re only looking to move into a new home, you can also apply for a loan and browse through the Canadian government’s official military housing directory. Most of these properties are available for rent, but some are available for lease if you eventually want to own. Improving credit is highly advisable regardless of the price of the property you’re interested in. It’s likely that there are still housing options for veterans with bad credit, but it’s best to maximize yours so you can choose from a wider range of houses.

Getting Adequate And Reliable Healthcare

Requiring special healthcare is almost a guarantee for veterans returning home, so the government has put in place a number of support services to help former service members meet these needs. For example, Ontario Health Insurance Plan coverage recently had its wait period lifted. This takes care of basic healthcare, and factors in any military benefits you may be eligible for. For more specific conditions and needs, the Canadian government’s website lists services for needs such as mental, disability, and other forms of healthcare. Veterans who need home care can apply for the Veterans Independence Program, which offers annual funding to cover the cost of such services.

Canada has had many difficulties accommodating its veterans in recent years. But it seems we are finally seeing progress in the way of getting them the care and aid they need. Given time and more funding, no more veterans need to live out their civilian lives unthanked for their selfless service.

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