Homes For Heroes’ ATCO Village Opens in Calgary

CALGARY, Alberta, Oct. 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, dignitaries from across Canada gathered in Calgary for the opening ceremony of the first Homes For Heroes village, a housing initiative designed to support Canadian Armed Forces veterans who are now experiencing homelessness.

“Our team at the Homes For Heroes Foundation has met with hundreds of veterans who are in crisis and experiencing homelessness,” said David Howard, President and Co-Founder, Homes For Heroes Foundation. “We wanted to build a program that can help them with a successful transition to civilian life. Our veterans are proud warriors, proud of their service, and proud to be citizens of Canada. They want a hand-up, not a hand-out. We listened to what they had to say, and we designed our foundation around meeting their needs.”

Located in southeast Calgary, ATCO Village features 15 tiny homes, a resource centre, counsellor’s office, family suite, and community gardens. In contrast to traditional homeless services, a tiny home provides veterans with privacy, a sense of security, peer-to-peer support, and the ability to reintegrate at a comfortable pace. Veteran services are facilitated on-site, directed by The Mustard Seed and supported by Veterans Affairs Canada, providing residents with mentoring, case management, counselling, and linkages to other programs and services.

Murray McCann, a local philanthropist, entrepreneur, and the founder of the annual Field of Crosses display held in Calgary leading up to Remembrance Day, first proposed the use of tiny homes to support veterans experiencing homelessness. Since its inception, Homes For Heroes Foundation was developed as a wraparound program to end the issues of homelessness among our veteran population.

“We needed them, and they answered the call. Now many veterans need us, and we will now be able to answer their call,” said Murray McCann, Co-Founder, Homes For Heroes Foundation. “A made-in-Calgary solution for aiding veterans with difficulties transitioning to life in everyday society can now realize its potential in Calgary and across Canada.”

Presenting sponsor ATCO, a Calgary-based global provider of integrated energy, housing, transportation and infrastructure solutions, provided their knowledge in the design, build, manufacture, delivery and placement of the tiny homes, through a $1.5 million in-kind donation. Nancy Southern, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of ATCO, was on hand at the event to speak to the over 160 dignitaries in attendance.

“The people of ATCO have a long and proud history working alongside the brave men and women of Canada’s military – heroes who have given so much to preserve our security and freedom,” said Southern. “That is why it is such a profound honour for ATCO to participate in this critical project, and to provide our veterans with a place that they can proudly call their own, a small but important gesture when measured against their herculean sacrifice.”

One of the first companies to come onside to support the charity was Canadian Pacific (CP). CP holds an annual event called Spin for a Veteran –, a 24-hour stationary bike race that has raised more than $800,000 over the last three years for the Homes for Heroes Foundation.

“As an organization that prides itself on being a military-friendly employer, CP understands the challenges veterans face when transitioning back to civilian life,” said Scott MacDonald, CP’s Senior Vice-President Engineering, Mechanical and Procurement, and veteran. “This village will have a profound impact on veterans who are experiencing homelessness. CP is proud to be associated with the program and to mark the sacrifice and commitment of those who have served.”

The Homes For Heroes Foundation plans to build additional villages across Canada and is currently working on a second village in Edmonton. The Foundation is also in the midst of land discussions with cities in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and the Maritimes. The land for ATCO Village was purchased at a discount from the City of Calgary, as part of the City’s affordable housing strategy.

“This is an exciting time for our charity and the entire veteran community,” said Howard. “So many companies, social groups and individuals pledged their support to make this a reality and have really shown their love and respect for our veterans.”

It is estimated that there are between 3,500 to 5,000 Canadian military veterans experiencing homelessness who have been unsuccessful in transitioning from their military careers to healthy and productive civilian lives. 

About Homes For Heroes Foundation
Homes for Heroes Foundation is a registered charity developed in response to the growing number of military veterans returning to civilian life who are facing crisis. Started in partnership with the Canadian Legacy Project and the McCann Family Foundation, organizations that have a rich history of supporting those who have served and those who continue to serve, it is our vision that all veterans progress toward a secure and self-sufficient life through access to housing and a robust support system.

Media Contact
David Howard
Co-Founder and President
Homes For Heroes

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at

Cooper Key Resources Center H4H Opening