Forces in Mind Trust fund campaign to end veterans’ homelessness
Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has awarded £193,000 to fund the second stage of the No Homeless Veterans campaign. The Cobseo Housing Cluster, through co-chair Sir Oswald Stoll Foundation (Stoll), was previously awarded funds from Forces in Mind Trust to develop and deliver an awareness and influence campaign to help end veterans’ homelessness between 2019-2020 and this second stage aims to significantly reduce homelessness in the veteran community in Great Britain.
The campaign will run over the next 15 months and will be led by the leading veterans housing provider, Stoll, on behalf of the Cobseo Housing Cluster, and delivered in partnership with both Homeless Link and the National Housing Federation.
It will educate and link up local authorities, housing associations and other charitable providers by producing new best practice guides and toolkits. It will also deliver briefings to housing teams, homeless charities and agencies through webinars and seminars.
The launch of the project will be in May 2022 and be supported by a media campaign across written, broadcast and sector media. There will also be significant stakeholder engagement throughout 2022 and 2023, building support amongst key influencers in Government, political parties, local authorities and beyond.
Thomas McBarnet, Director of Programmes at Forces in Mind Trust, said: “It’s great to see the No Homeless Veterans campaign consolidated and re-energised to build on the progress made in the first stage. Sustainable accommodation and housing is a fundamental pillar of an individual’s successful transition from the Armed Forces to civilian life. Although most are able to secure stable housing, some, particularly Early Service Leavers, are not. We hope this project extension will bridge the barriers further and develop partnerships amongst housing services to make sure no Service leaver is disadvantaged. This is why this campaign is so important, and we are delighted to be able to fund their work again.”
Richard Gammage, Chief Executive of Stoll and Co-chair of the Cobseo Housing Cluster, said: “Sadly, many veterans depart the Armed Forces without their future housing needs being properly provided for. Or, sometime after their service ends, the fragile housing that Veterans do have falls apart and some then become homeless. Their housing and support needs are poorly met or not met at all, with all that means for their life chances. Our Government has recognised the need to do better and the launch of the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan (2022-2024) this month is a welcome sign of its commitment.
This grant enables Stoll to continue its vital work in collaboration with others to try to bring homelessness amongst the Veteran community down as close to zero as possible. A clear housing pathway is vital for vulnerable veterans leaving the Armed Forces. We seek to work more closely with Local Authorities and other civilian agencies to ensure veterans get the housing and help that they need and deserve. We are determined that all Local Authorities and Social Housing Providers will ask those veterans seeking housing support whether they have served in the Armed Forces and, if they have, we want to ensure that there are clear plans put in place to support them.”