A Calgary-based non-profit is planning to construct purpose-built communities filled with 15 to 20 tiny homes each to house Canada’s homeless military veterans.

Homes for Heroes Foundation co-founder Murray McCann said the number of homeless veterans is a “scandal.”

“They’ve been places and done things for our country that we will never know and consequently some of them are broke,” he said.

Veterans Affairs Canada estimates that there are at least 2,600 homeless veterans in the country. The Homes for Heroes Foundation believes there may be more.

“We’re dealing with very proud individuals,” said McCann’s fellow co-founder David Howard. “So there are a lot of times that they’re not identifying themselves when they’re in shelters.”

There are an estimated 180 homeless veterans in Calgary alone, according to Howard.

Some have jobs but nowhere to live, Howard said.

“They’re in shelters, they’re on the street, they’re under bridges,” according to Howard. “Unfortunately, what they’re not in (is a) home and that’s what we will fix.”

The vision is for communities with fully-furnished 250-square-foot homes arranged around a communal garden and a building that will serve as a community hub.

The foundation also expects there will be a social service counsellor to help the veterans get back on their feet.

The first complex is set to open in Calgary later this year. A second one is also planned for Calgary, and another will be built in Edmonton.

The non-profit’s goal is to create communities in every major Canadian city within a decade, so that all of those who served their country will have roofs over their heads.

With a report from CTV National News Alberta Bureau Chief Janet Dirks