We asking you to pledge your support and to update you on some very positive developments on our quest to eliminate Veterans’ homelessness following our reception at the House of Lords in March.
The University of York research that we launched at the reception highlights how some ex-Service personnel slip through the net and end up homeless after leaving the Armed Forces. Evidence suggests that well over a thousand ex-service personnel each year require urgent support to find accommodation.
On the back of this research we developed a Call to Action to help tackle this important issue. The three main changes that we would like to see are:
- An improved transition process to prevent any serving personnel becoming homeless after service
- Local Authorities and other agencies operating in the ‘civilian’ sphere, e.g. advice services, to consistently check if someone seeking housing support is a veteran and, if they are, to have a clear plan to respond to the veterans they identify
- Government to ensure supported housing for veterans is properly resourced.
We are pleased that the level of interest in these recommendations has surpassed expectations and our Call to Action has now evolved into a much more detailed plan that we believe will help us significantly reduce the levels of Veterans’ homelessness.
This plan has been kick-started by colleagues from within the Veterans’ housing sector, with the launch of a vacancies dashboard listing all available properties across the country that have been ring-fenced for Veterans. This, alongside the introduction of the Veterans Housing Advice service telephone support for homeless Veterans, are just two of the measures we have committed to as a sector to ensure we are leading the way ourselves.
Working with the Minister for Defence People and Veterans, the Rt Hon Tobias Ellwood MP, we have already started exploring ways that we can ensure that Local Authority housing departments can provide a consistent response to Veterans that approach them for support.
We are also exploring the opportunity to co-produce the housing component of the forthcoming Veterans Strategy with the Ministry of Defence, which is an exciting opportunity. This is particularly with a focus on the Transition process to ensure that we identify and support any Serving individual who needs accommodation as they leave the Forces.
In the longer-term we are also exploring the possibility of a national campaign targeting Local Authorities and homeless charities to ensure that they identify Veterans approaching their services and can channel them through to the correct support.
As you can see, we are still at the beginning of the journey but are very positive about the impact that we have already made in a relatively short space of time.
We are extremely grateful to those people who attended our reception and have already pledged support for this important cause and are now looking for others to join us. Therefore we are asking you to COMMIT YOUR SUPPORT TO THE CALL TO ACTION via the following link:
Help make our voice collectively stronger as we continue to tackle
Sign up here to pledge your support