Author Topic: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military  (Read 39495 times)

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Offline George Wallace

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16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« on: August 11, 2013, 23:42:33 »

Article Link: Number of people living on Toronto streets increases: Survey
Military veterans make up 16%


Quote
Number of people living on Toronto streets increases: Survey
 
Military veterans make up 16%
By Don Peat   ,City Hall Bureau Chief
 
First posted:  Wednesday, July 31, 2013 10:31 AM EDT  | Updated:  Wednesday, July 31, 2013 08:57 PM EDT


TORONTO - More people are sleeping on Toronto’s streets and around 16% of them say they’ve served in the Canadian military.

The City of Toronto released an interim report of its 2013 Street Needs Assessment on Wednesday.

While the April 17 survey found the homeless population has stayed almost the same — only increasing 1% — it also found a 24% increase in the number of people living outdoors.

To gather the data city staff and volunteers administered a 13-question survey to people outdoors and in emergency shelters, hospitals and correctional facilities. It’s the third time the city has conducted a citywide count of the homeless.

In all, city officials estimate around 447 people live outdoors in Toronto — that’s up by 24% from the 2009 survey but down 39.1% from the 2006 survey.

Almost 40% of all those surveyed on April 17 said they had spent at least one night sleeping on the street in the last six months.

Among those sleeping rough, the study found they have been homeless for an average of 7.5 years, around a third said they were aboriginal and 16% said they had served in the Canadian military.

The study also found around 20% of the homeless youth surveyed said they were part of the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and two-spirited (LGBQT) community.

Mayor Rob Ford said he hadn’t had a chance to read the report yet.

“What I quickly got briefed on this morning, I understand it has gone up,” Ford said.

“It’s unfortunate (that more people are sleeping on the streets). We have to get these people off the streets and get them the help they need be it if it is drugs, alcohol, mental illness — we have to get them the help they need so we have to do this.”

A full report on Toronto’s homeless survey will come to the community development and recreation committee in September.

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Offline PAdm

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2013, 09:01:19 »
My knee jerk thought was some sort of mental health correlation (would obviously need to be studied), but a second thought is the CAF is rules based and living rough is freedom. Could it be a choice??  Lord knows we are used to some periodic discomfort. That said, spending e.g. A year in the CAF 10 years ago is really not relevant to the story. You could substitute Catholic or divorced or whatever to get a stat. I believe the aboriginal and gay stats are more of a shocking angle/stat.
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Offline MCG

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2013, 10:23:46 »
"Why" is a key question.  I have lost count of the number of untrained privates who, through only their own stupid choices, found themselves removed from the CAF for sloth and/or misconduct, and without a place to live (mom & dad sure didn't want to see some of them back either).  The lack of information will lead some to conclude this percentage is the fault of neglect to look after veterans.  A significant portion may be just that - but we cannot know with the data collected.

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2013, 10:32:21 »
"Why" is a key question.  I have lost count of the number of untrained privates who, through only their own stupid choices, found themselves removed from the CAF for sloth and/or misconduct, and without a place to live (mom & dad sure didn't want to see some of them back either).  The lack of information will lead some to conclude this percentage is the fault of neglect to look after veterans.  A significant portion may be just that - but we cannot know with the data collected.

I wonder how many of those surveyed simply lied about their service.
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Offline JesseWZ

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2013, 10:45:25 »
I wonder how many of those surveyed simply lied about their service.

Perhaps it is cynical, but that was my first thought as well. Often people "claim" service in order to elicit sympathy and therefore handouts from passers-by.

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2013, 11:13:15 »
How many kids are living on the streets ?

Offline Danjanou

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2013, 11:40:50 »
A couple of points on this article. One I've noted (and those who know me can confirm I'm a bit of an SME on this) that often reports like this tend to overestimate or present the worst case scenario. Remember their funding is often based on this and more homeless equals more dollars. No one wants to submit a report that says "we've ended the homeless situation, so I guess that means we're all unemployed" now do they.

Remember the late Jack Layton made quite a bit of a rep for himself out of the housing crisis.  If we used the numbers he continually floated as a Toronto City Councilor, one would have literally been tripping over a homeless person on the sidewalk every couple of feet on every side walk in the GTA not just the downtown core.

To be honest though counting the homeless is akin to herding cats. They really don't like to be counted, and how does one prevent counting the same person two or three times when conducting these street assessment censuses anyway. It's not like they stand still all night/day. I know of one who admitted being counted three of four times, because each time he was asked the questions by a clip board bearing volunteer he was given a gift card for pizza.

Re possible some of them just claiming to be veterans, more than likely that is the case. I bumped into one in the theatre district one evening panhandling with his sign claiming to be a veteran. Some pointed questioning by me in a loud enough voice to draw attention to potential donors soon proved him to be a poser walt.  A study came out in the UK suggesting that  25% of London's hard core homeless were Veterans and was later disproven. Volunteers went out with laptops with a data base of questions a Veteran would be able to answer regardless of when or where they served including service numbers. Surprisingly many so called self identified vets couldn't answer these basic questions.

Even if the numbers are slightly skewed, they are telling. Using the numbers given there could be as many as 800+/- homeless vets in the Toronto area and that number is unacceptable. It is also about double the numbers VAC and The RCL with their Leave the Streets Behind Program are reluctantly admitting to.

Whether the individual served a year or so and as suggested was released as suggested, or served honorably for his his/her full term of service should not matter in the slightest though. We've accepted that there is "One Veteran" and therefore one homeless vet is one too many.

Both VAC and the RCL are failing in addressing this issue despite their publically saying so to the contrary. I'm sorry but having the RCL in Toronto announce that they managed to house a dozen or so vets in a year and claim this as a success is a farce. Other groups such as First Nations, the LGBT communities have active programs to find and help "their" homeless  and work with Municipal and Provincial Agencies and with each other to coordinate their efforts. At present the "Veterans" community has failed to do this in any tangible manner
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Offline Cbbmtt

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2013, 12:46:53 »
I would think that a majority of the percentage are heavy into addiction. I don't think the percentage is a valid strike at the forces.

Example; John Smith joined the forces in his 20's, left when he was 28. At age 50 he lost his job and ended up on the street. This guy would say he was in the forces, but has nothing to do with why he's on the street.

I'm thinking more of a study should be done on the percentage they came up with and focused on "when" they were in the forces, and "why" they were on the street. Whether it be addiction, loss of jobs, choice etc...

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Offline upandatom

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2013, 13:10:05 »
I would think that a majority of the percentage are heavy into addiction. I don't think the percentage is a valid strike at the forces.

Example; John Smith joined the forces in his 20's, left when he was 28. At age 50 he lost his job and ended up on the street. This guy would say he was in the forces, but has nothing to do with why he's on the street.

I'm thinking more of a study should be done on the percentage they came up with and focused on "when" they were in the forces, and "why" they were on the street. Whether it be addiction, loss of jobs, choice etc...

I still think we should have a good hard look at how we look after our own sometimes. It is starting to get better. but yes, agreed, sometimes certain portions of stories are left out, AGREED
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Offline Danjanou

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2013, 14:29:15 »
I would think that a majority of the percentage are heavy into addiction. I don't think the percentage is a valid strike at the forces.

Example; John Smith joined the forces in his 20's, left when he was 28. At age 50 he lost his job and ended up on the street. This guy would say he was in the forces, but has nothing to do with why he's on the street.

I'm thinking more of a study should be done on the percentage they came up with and focused on "when" they were in the forces, and "why" they were on the street. Whether it be addiction, loss of jobs, choice etc...

I concur many cases it could be argued there is probably no correlation between their service and their present situation. Ironically that would preclude many of them from qualifying for financial or other assistance from VAC under the NVC as their present circumstances are not directly a result of their service.

Here's and interesting stat:

" But research with Canadian homeless veterans shows a whole different picture.
“For a lot of them it was from drinking, which started in the military, escalated over time and 10 years later you would see the alcoholism, and through that they would lose their job, their relationships, their housing,” Ray says.
Surprisingly, none of the veterans had been deployed overseas; so their current plight wasn't caused by deployment trauma or PTSD. With the exception of a couple who had experience in peacekeeping missions, the bulk of the veterans in the study all served on bases in Canada."

http://www.uwo.ca/fhs/hsm/veterans.html

The argument is a lot of those on the street now are the proverbial "Cold War" era Vets. Does that mean we'll see a spike in numbers down the road with the Bosnia , Kosovo, Afghanistan era vets? That's a chilling thought.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 09:04:45 by Danjanou »
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Offline FormerHorseGuard

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2013, 22:40:14 »
I think it is time to re think how we manage the money  that is given, taken or spent on looking after the homeless in Canada.
Federal Government gives X number of dollars to various groups to look after the street or homeless persons.
Group A,Group B both get a budget and pay  a staff to do the job and they have person who donate their time and resources to help.

Homeless Guy goes to Group A and is helped out on Monday, but he goes back on Tuesday and there is no room and bed space for him , Group A counts him as some one they tried to help on Tuesday and Monday. Homeless guy tries Group B and finds some space and a meal. They count him as some they tried to help out and helped.  So for Tuesday this homeless guy is counted twice. But he is only one man.
Both Groups use this man to help show their stats to get more money  next fiscal year. How many times a day  does this happen, and inflate the numbers and stats of homeless people wanting or trying to get help.

How many  groups count the same guy over and over?

If there was really was 7000 homeless people in Ottawa as they  state on this website ( http://www.ottawainnercityministries.ca/about/poverty-homelessness/)

How much money is lost in staffing costs? Or lost to mis used funds like helping a scrammer?
I think if they had one group funded to help everyone who sought help and one chain of command to track the money it would be better spent.
One study I read looking for facts to back up my thoughts here said it cost social programs 55 000 dollars to look after one person everyday and it would only cost 37 000 dollars a year to feed and house the same person in the private sector. ( http://metronews.ca/news/vancouver/381819/b-c-could-learn-from-alberta-how-to-save-on-costs-of-homelessness-expert/)
Money is not the answer and blaming the military for a few lost souls is not the answer,
Some of these people would rather be on the street living the Nomad life style and just getting by than having a nice fully funded life. I think everyone shares the blame and certainly is sharing the costs.
Lots of studies no action taken

Offline s2184

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2013, 09:34:36 »
Whatever reasons or whatever backgrounds, 16% is really significant. But, how we know if the survey was correctly planned & executed? This news items just puzzles me.
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Offline Danjanou

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2013, 09:54:41 »
…..Homeless Guy goes to Group A and is helped out on Monday, but he goes back on Tuesday and there is no room and bed space for him , Group A counts him as some one they tried to help on Tuesday and Monday. Homeless guy tries Group B and finds some space and a meal. They count him as some they tried to help out and helped.  So for Tuesday this homeless guy is counted twice. But he is only one man.
Both Groups use this man to help show their stats to get more money  next fiscal year. How many times a day  does this happen, and inflate the numbers and stats of homeless people wanting or trying to get help.

How many  groups count the same guy over and over?

Congratulations you've just learned how to play the poverty game in Canada. You can use the above to obtain, money, (lots of tax payer funded grants etc.) and/or political capital.

Now remember though to actually ensure long term success, you have to follow a few simple basics.

1-   Only you and your group can solve this situation and therefore should receive all the funding, attention, accolades ( the other groups are after all competiton, although a few select few groups who also understand the "system" are useful allies and allow you to shuffle the homeless around in a form of shell game.)
2-   Continually harp to the media on a) how serious this issue is /has become and b) what a fantastic job you're doing at it … if only you had more money, resources etc.
3-   Most importantly ensure you actually don't solve the problem. If you accidentally end up housing all the homeless/eliminate poverty well then you're out of a job and Barista at Starbucks really doesn't pay as well.  Don't worry about anyone criticizing any actual lack of progress, they can be branded as homophobic, racist, chauvinistic, Harper/Harris/Ford pro oil neo con one per centers. ( delete/add adjectives as needed)

Whatever reasons or whatever backgrounds, 16% is really significant. But, how we know if the survey was correctly planned & executed? This news items just puzzles me.

See above. The RCL/VAC numbers are quoted at 300-400, this survey says 800 +/- , the real number is probably somewhere in the middle say 600 +/- which means we have the equivalent of an infantry battalion sleeping under bridges or in shelters tonight.

Sorry too many years at the coal face of this and being subjected daily to the political correct gumdrop trees and unicorn farts holistic attitude of those nominally in charge tends to make one a tad cynical.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 08:45:36 by Danjanou »
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Offline upandatom

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2013, 08:05:22 »
I concur many cases it could be argued there is probably no correlation between their service and their present situation. Ironically that would preclude many of them from qualifying for financial or other assistance from VAC under the NVC as their present circumstances are not directly a result of their service.

Here and interesting stat:

" But research with Canadian homeless veterans shows a whole different picture.
“For a lot of them it was from drinking, which started in the military, escalated over time and 10 years later you would see the alcoholism, and through that they would lose their job, their relationships, their housing,” Ray says.
Surprisingly, none of the veterans had been deployed overseas; so their current plight wasn't caused by deployment trauma or PTSD. With the exception of a couple who had experience in peacekeeping missions, the bulk of the veterans in the study all served on bases in Canada."

http://www.uwo.ca/fhs/hsm/veterans.html

The argument is a lot of those on the street now are the proverbial "cold War" era Vets. Does that mean we'll see a spike in numbers down the road with the Bosnia , Kosovo, Afghanistan era vets? That's a chilling thought.

The Afghan, Kosovo, Bosnia number seems a extremely Scary due to that being such a long extended period, along with the sheer amount of pers that were deployed, and repeatedly.

Especially considering last night I had just read that article in the Vancouver newspapers about an MWO or CWO retiring because JPSUs are apparently a CF version of Starbucks and how alot of soldiers are not getting the help they need and regardless of how many times he asked for help he wasnt given any. Im sure there are two sides to this story, I know with my issues, I was able to get help, took about a year to finally see someone  (in a large city). However in larger bases ie pet, gagetown, in smaller and less dense population areas I can see how getting help would be an issue due to lack of physical resources(presuming the soldier says "i need help", which is the hardest part). you cant fix everything by throwing money at it.
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Offline Danjanou

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2013, 09:01:53 »
There is a hope that we won't see a major hike amongst the Bosnia Kosovo, Afghanistan vets due to the fact that there are procedures in place now like the JPSU flawed as they may be. No such systems existed a generation ago and if you had issues or problems the prevailing response was "go suck it up buttercup" which more or less meant you didn't go seek help.

Ironically the very attributes that make someone a good Soldier (Sailor, Airmen) such as mental and physical toughness, self confidence, independence etc  often make for a lousy homeless person. At least in the sense they're harder to treat, deal with. They're more likely to not come and ask for help. Sleeping rough, being hungry wet, cold, hey been there done that, and can do it again if I have to mindset.

Especially if they see that what's the point of asking for something I probably won't get anyway. As you said there are issues coming forth with the system, like JPSU, or the fact we have Vets forced to sue the Government as seen on the news, or read the horror stories here and elsewhere on line of people trying to navigate through the byzantine maze of indifference that is Veterans Affairs Canada.

For someone literally out of options he may simply say frig I'll just sit here on a street corner rather than put myself through that.
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Offline heavy reader

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2013, 14:06:29 »
Read on to find out how you can help:

http://vetscanada.org/

V.E.T.S. is a volunteer-led apolitical nonprofit corporation centralized in Nova Scotia. We aim to provide aid and comfort to Canadian veterans that are at risk. We are seeking to achieve this aim by:

Identifying Canadian veterans who are in difficult circumstances while awaiting support from Veterans Affairs Canada.
Assembling a complete list of all government agencies and non-profit resources that could provide assistance to veterans related to their housing, health and legal needs.
Pursuing the development of appropriate shelter for homeless veterans to act as a referral service or bridge, assisting veterans to access appropriate supports and services .
Monitoring the legislative changes relevant to the situation of these veterans in order to provide them the most up-to-date information.
Seeking charitable status in order to maximize fundraising for effective pursuit of the society’s goals .
To do this we need your support. We are in the very early stages of development but we need your assistance. If you are interested in volunteering, please visit our support page here.


Note they also have an app for your iphone to locate Veterans in need and relay this info to local volunteers.  http://vetscanada.org/exciting-news/

BZ to VETS for actually stepping up to help our brothers and sisters.

Offline pbi

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2013, 09:32:33 »
 I'm a member of the Volunteer Patricia Program. This is an effort by the Regiment (both serving and Associate members) to provide a safety net for members of the Regimental family  who fall through the cracks in the system, or who may not even know where to begin to get help. You can find out more at: http://vpp.ppcliassoc.ca/

I've been involved in only one case so far, but what I found was that in fact there are quite a few agencies and groups out there willing to help, well beyond just VAC that everybody slams. The problem (IMHO) seems to be pulling all the various well-intentioned organizations together in each particular case.

I found that the people I dealt with in this individual's case  had a lot of good will and a true desire to help (including, by the way, the VAC case officer). In the end the individual refused to be helped, but very clearly the players are all still there if the person changes their mind.

We aren't experts, only volunteers, but every little bit of help is good.
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Offline army08

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2013, 16:20:32 »
It is fairly obvious the root cause of homelessness is not having a home, high property taxes, rental costs etc..

They don't have money. It is really that simple.


Camping out is actually great in good weather.

It is really only when the issue of exposure comes that there is a problem, that and the fact 99% of land is privatized and not open to public camping.

It is however legal to set up a camp site on crown land for up to 21 days before moving to another site.

Homelessness is not an issue, the problem is poverty and not having adequette shelter.

The other factor is, solidiers probably don't see it as rough compared to having a house on your back and being shot at.

If people are joining for a sense of purpose, on leaving they may either be disillusioned and without a sense of purpose. 

Simply put a rough life is not foreign to a solider. When people conquer their physical worlds it can be largely compared to a psychosis, being detached from the physical nature that other softer people would be more in tune with.   It is largely about what your experiences are. 

However there was the valid point raisesd that these individuals arn't showing ID prooving their service record, so it remains to be credible information.


I know one person who claimed to be a vet who also claimed to be somewhat homeless, and unemployed due to injury, wouldn't accept welfare because he didn't agree with it. He'd rather just rough it out, even though veterans affairs recommended he go on welfare.

He was one of the guys who took a lump sum, which after a number of years dried up and he was still unemployed.  It is really a matter of standards he views welfare as contemptuous but is still not employed and so essentially destitute, so the story goes.


http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/department/facts-fait/lump-sum  -- then what?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2013, 16:35:31 by army08 »

Offline ArmyDoc

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2013, 17:48:12 »
Homelessness is not an issue, the problem is poverty and not having adequette (sic) shelter.

The other factor is, solidiers probably don't see it as rough compared to having a house on your back and being shot at.
Really?  Are you basing this on your non-existent field experience and non-existent TI, since you do not yet appear to have completed the recruitment process?

Simply put a rough life is not foreign to a solider. When people conquer their physical worlds it can be largely compared to a psychosis, being detached from the physical nature that other softer people would be more in tune with.   It is largely about what your experiences are.
I'm afraid that your comments on physical worlds and psychosis are just so much gobbledegook - they may sound learned to you, but to me you're spouting drivel.  It does, however, increase your post count.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2013, 18:58:18 »
.......  It does, however, increase your post count.

....but not your credibility.
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Unless so stated, they are reflective of my opinion -- and my opinion only, a right that I enjoy along with every other Canadian citizen.

Offline army08

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2013, 19:51:32 »
Really?  Are you basing this on your non-existent field experience and non-existent TI, since you do not yet appear to have completed the recruitment process?
I'm afraid that your comments on physical worlds and psychosis are just so much gobbledegook - they may sound learned to you, but to me you're spouting drivel.  It does, however, increase your post count.

No, its my opinion, I am not citing authorities. I've ran into a number of people through my life who were interacting with the CF either as aspiring, current, or former members of both the reserve and regular forces. I base my opinions upon real world interactions, and my own experiences. If you disagree with something I've said I invite you to clarify what is an errored statement.

It sums up to, the more pain you experience the more normal it gets. Not exactly gobbledegook, the military hardens people, that is all there is to it.
 
I am not the least concerned about my post count. Although I understand I only have 9 more shots at this.. and I'm not even done my second application, whatever will I do if I am unable to post in recruiting :( or rather 159 more...
« Last Edit: October 12, 2013, 19:57:53 by army08 »

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2013, 19:58:53 »
No, its my opinion, I am not citing authorities. I've ran into a number of people through my life who were interacting with the CF either as aspiring, current, or former members of both the reserve and regular forces. I base my opinions upon real world interactions, and my own experiences. If you disagree with something I've said I invite you to clarify what is an errored statement.

It sums up to, the more pain you experience the more normal it gets. Not exactly gobbledegook, the military hardens people, that is all there is to it.
 
I am not the least concerned about my post count. Although I understand I only have 9 more shots at this.. and I'm not even done my second application, whatever will I do if I am unable to post in recruiting :(

For many, money and a place to stay has nothing to do with it.

Many out there just want to be left alone and prefer not to share the burdens of society (rent, income, jobs, etc).

In short, you really don't know what you're talking about.

However, we've come to expect that from some around here.
“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.”

John G. Diefenbaker

Offline recceguy

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2013, 20:01:54 »
whatever will I do if I am unable to post in recruiting :( or rather 159 more...

Save a lot of people a lot of wasted reading time?
“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.”

John G. Diefenbaker

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2013, 21:09:16 »
I was homeless last summer.  It had nothing to do with being in the military.  I had a job.  I had the money.  I just wasn't able to find a new place to live after moving.

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Re: 16% of Toronto homeless served in Canadian military
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2013, 11:13:02 »
It is fairly obvious the root cause of homelessness is not having a home, high property taxes, rental costs etc..
Perhaps they're simply setting themselves up for this line of work?   :nod: