Sunday, 1 February 2009

Minister pledges homes for heroes

The Sunday Mirror is claiming victory in its "Homes for Heroes" campaign which seeks to get a roof over the head of every homeless war veteran and to bring in a support framework to help them get back on their feet.

Minister for Veterans, Kevan Jones has promised to help get 5,000 homeless veterans off our streets. He is reported as pledging:.....
  • To launch a major initiative later this year to give troops more support while they make the transition from the forces to civvy street.
  • To set up a one-stop shop which every veteran can contact to find out where they can get help.
  • To get more servicemen and women on the housing ladder and to help veterans pay mortgages and rent.
  • To make sure local councils treat veterans with respect and priority.
  • To make sure that all government departments do what they can to avoid veterans falling into homelessness in the first place, but if that does happen, make sure that they get the full support they deserve.

The Mirror says that "the Minister has given guarantees about concrete action he is going to take to get Britain's veterans off the streets into halfway houses and get them back on their feet".

Working with national charities and local councils, new halfway houses are to be set up in Newcastle, Catterick, Manchester, Birmingham and other cities. The success achieved by such halfway houses has been seen with the Mike Jackson House in Aldershot and the Galleries in Richmond, North Yorks. Not only do these houses provide clean and safe short-term accommodation for homeless veterans, they also provide 24 hour support and career advisors. They provide ex-servicemen and women with the help needed to get them back on their feet, find somewhere permanent to live and get a job.

The Minister said "This country owes a debt of gratitude to all veterans. They have been to war in Iraq, Afghanistan and many other countries. They are a priority and need to be treated as a priority".

No one will argue with you there, Minister.

The Mirror: Victory for the Sunday Mirror in fight for homeless veterans
Veterans UK: Veterans Issues - Homelessness