First off, I want to thank you, Sergeant. As a fellow Canadian, it makes me proud to sit beside you. I'm sorry for your situation. The testimony I have is nowhere near as compelling. I'm a business guy from Montreal who has taken up the cause of our veterans, and my efforts seem insignificant after your testimony.
Thank you for having us here. It's an honour to be here. I think this is a very important study, and I encourage you to continue your efforts.
I am pleased to introduce my colleague, Brenda Fewster, who is here in her role as national director of university outreach and program evaluation for the Respect Forum.
I don't live the difficulties that you have just heard the sergeant say he faces. What I see are some of the things you're doing well, specifically your conferences where you bring people together to be heard, like this meeting. We as Canadians need to hear the cry for support and help by the sergeant and others. Please continue doing that.
Your well-being fund is one of the reasons I'm here today, which I greatly appreciate, along with your support for real guys on the street with practical programs like the Veterans Transition Network at UBC, Can Praxis, and VETS Canada, just to mention a few.
As I said, I've never served, sergeant, but I have many friends who are veterans who share your struggles, some very tragically. However, I have seen some solid efforts that need to be recognized on the part of leadership in the Canadian Armed Forces, specifically Support Our Troops, and OSI clinics. They are run by good people trying to do the right thing.
The Respect Forum organizers believe that the problem of homelessness among veterans is too big for you alone to solve, but the good news is that there are many organizations with good people who are trying to contribute to that solution. It's important to acknowledge their efforts, because there are literally thousands of them. Whether it's conducting point-of-time homelessness counts, producing data, or trying to bring specific practical solutions, we have to recognize that there is work being done.
We've seen significant strides being made since 2010 to help us begin to understand the scope and the nature of veterans' homelessness, and listening to the sergeant, I don't believe all of those messages are getting across to the decision-makers. The practical things that the sergeant mentioned really need to be taken into consideration—the dysfunction with respect to regulations. However, I will let Brenda speak to the situation from a more academic perspective.