Brokenshire announces funding boost for homeless veterans
Veterans who have become homeless, or at risk of it, will be supported through an extra £1 million boost
• Communities Secretary announces £1 million fund to boost support for vulnerable veterans
• Investment for eleven local areas to fund access to housing advice or mental health support, reducing the risk of homelessness
• Move part of government commitment to tackle all forms of homelessness and end rough sleeping for good
Veterans who have become homeless, or at risk of it, will be supported through an extra £1 million boost, the Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP announced today (20 March 2019).
The money will help ensure those who have served their country have a roof over their heads and have the support they need once leaving the Armed Forces.
The fund will be shared among the ten combined authorities and the Greater London Authority who will be able to use the funding to provide veterans with the bespoke support they need as they navigate civilian life.
Money could also be used to direct former soldiers to existing specialist support services on offer, such as access to supported housing and training for staff on mental health issues, including PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and how to support those former service personnel who may initially be reluctant to receive help.
Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:
"Our veterans play a vital role in keeping our country safe and many have dedicated their lives to the services. For those who fall on hard times and end up on the street, it is only right that we give them all the support they need to put a roof over their head.
"Local authorities across the country already provide much needed support for veterans, but this boost will allow them to go further and ensure that more people have access to valuable services, such as housing advice or mental health support.
"This additional funding goes hand in hand with the £1.2 billion which has been set aside to tackle all forms of homelessness, including £100 million for rough sleeping, helping ensure everyone has a safe and secure home to call their own, regardless of their background."
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
"The vast majority of those leaving the Armed Forces go on to lead fulfilling and rewarding lives, but it’s right that we support those who struggle.
"One veteran on the street is one too many and I welcome today’s announcement on funding to address homelessness and rough sleeping.
"This, along with the support we already provide through the Veteran Gateway, underlines our commitment to helping those who have served our country."
Last month, ministers confirmed over £19.5 million is to be shared among 54 projects across the country to help thousands of people who are homeless to secure their own home - through support such as paying deposits for a tenancy or putting down the first months’ rent. This will help vulnerable people secure a home in a property they may otherwise not have been able to access.
This work supports the ongoing government commitment to put an end to rough sleeping for good, through a number of initiatives set out in the £100 million backed Rough Sleeping Strategy. So far, over 1750 beds and 500 additional support staff jobs have been created, helping to get rough sleepers off the street and into a more permanent home. This will allow them access employment, benefits and the necessary mental health or addiction support services to rebuild their lives for good.