At the round table, you have some 70 organizations from across the country—some big, some small, some national in scope or ambition, and others extremely local. I was only there for an hour and a half before we had votes, but I would say that we are not there to talk; we're there to listen. Actually, I think the most exciting part of it is when they talk to one another. We're already seeing that dynamic around the various tables in the room.
Let me run through some of this for you. We have committed $4 million to the veterans emergency fund. As I think I mentioned to this committee before, one of the, I don't know, oddly humbling experiences was in my first brief with the deputy on my first day. The department, despite its vast budget, as members of this committee are well aware, doesn't have the flexibility to actually help an individual when we find out that somebody is homeless. I think members of the committee can take comfort in the fact that every single dollar seems to be earmarked. That's good from a taxpayer's point of view, and I'm happy to see that, but then we don't have flexibility.
We were relying on wills bequeathing funds. People will money for homeless veterans, but often under various conditions and often geographically specific. People want to help people in downtown Winnipeg, or people want to help people in Victoria. One of the deputy's jobs was just to figure out which trust fund or will bequeathment he could find to help a veteran get off the street, which was ridiculous. Now we have that flexibility. Certainly in a 24-7 news cycle, as soon as there's a news report that a veteran has been identified as homeless, everybody around this committee, and any Canadian, would say that we want to get him off the streets right now. Well, at least now we have the ability to act immediately. If they self-identify, we can worry later about where they served or whatever and just get them off of the streets immediately, which I think is really important.
To get back to the homelessness summit, generally speaking, as our colleague Adam Vaughan, parliamentary secretary, spoke to as well, this is getting people out of their silos so that we can really talk effectively about how we deal with this issue in order to eliminate it.