We are very excited to be introducing a Veterans specific project to its services. We will be converting one of our currently owned properties from an office space into accommodation for 8 homeless veterans.
Homeless charity ‘Crisis’ estimates that as many as 1 in 10 homeless individuals are veterans.
Our own figures support this, with 12.9% of our clients being ex-servicemen (based on 2016 statistics). This is on the increase, and the area we operate in has a vulnerability to these rising figures. Taunton is on the main arterial route between Bristol, Devon and Cornwall and therefore a natural stopping point for those moving around the country in search of accommodation and/or work.
We also know, from our own research and reports from others, that homeless veterans can often suffer with more complex and differing problems than other clients. We therefore want to ensure that these clients are receiving the tailored support that they need in order to rebuild their lives.
This project will be for veterans only and will include 8 rooms, 4 of which will be designed for wheelchair use in case of physical disabilities. Support will be given on a 1 to 1 basis, ensuring needs are met so they can, in time, move on to independent living.
Housing will be just the start of our service for veterans. Through the key support work, we will be able to refer clients to other suitable support agencies to help with issues such as mental health and drug and alcohol addictions. We are also keen to explore and allow the skills that many veterans have from their time in service to be used. We plan to train our veteran clients in mentoring, so that they can become a valuable part of own services by mentoring some of our younger, more chaotic clients.
We are also keen to assist these clients with move on and more permanent accommodation. Although the residents may stay for as long as they need in our accommodation, we see the importance in helping them to begin and sustain their own independent lives. To help with this, we have our own Tenant Accreditation Scheme, which helps clients learn how to sustain a tenancy. We also have our very own letting agency (Somerset West Letting Agency), which will help clients to find their own private accommodation, in an affordable and stress free manner.
For this project, we have teamed up with Splash Community Projects, a South West based company, run by Ex British Forces. They assist organisations with community building projects, and will be providing us with a strong work force to help us put this all into action!
We are ready and raring to go on this project, and can’t wait to get started. But we now need the help of our kind community to jointly fund this project.
You can make a donation towards this project by clicking HERE
Or please click HERE to find out about other ways in which you can help, including some ideas on fundraising for the project!
We’d be thrilled if you could help us in providing this valuable project, to provide veterans with the service they really deserve!