Homeless Black And White On The Streets Lonely Credit pexels.com 758794
Forces Charities

The Charity Giving Homeless Veterans A Fresh Start

"Without a base, you can't claim benefits, you can't start looking for work everybody wants an address."

Homeless Black And White On The Streets Lonely Credit pexels.com 758794

We’re taking a look at how your donations to the BFBS Big Salute have made a big difference to the lives of serving personnel and veterans.

This year, the Big Salute has supported twelve armed forces charities by funding grant-based projects.

Help 4 Homeless Veterans was awarded a £2,750 grant to pay for TVs, radios and TV licences for their beneficiaries.

Forces Radio BFBS broadcaster Warren Moore spoke to CEO Steve Bentham-Bates about how the military charity helps veterans.

"We're probably these days helping about 100 homeless veterans each year.

"Not only do we find a house for them to live in, they turn up on our doorsteps with literally nothing, for a variety of reasons."

The South Yorkshire charity sublets flats in Barnsley and Doncaster to homeless veterans who ask for help.

They give veterans a safe, warm place to sleep and get themselves presentable for job interviews.

"Without a base, you can't claim benefits, you can't start looking for work everybody wants an address.

"By giving them that, that's the starting point to turn their lives around again."

Steve says the charity quite often encounters veterans whose pride from years of serving in the military prevents them from asking for help soon enough.

"Some of the guys have really ended up at rock bottom before they're so desperate they do then turn and ask for help.

"Whereas if they'd asked for help earlier it would have been easier to help them along."

Help 4 Homeless Veterans don't hang about when it comes to helping destitute veterans. However, there are some quick checks to be made first:

"As soon as we become aware of somebody that's got an issue and we've done our basic checks to make sure they're not a Walt... not pretending, we get them into digs straight away, B&B, like a Travelodge or something like that."

Once the veteran is safely off the streets the charity searches for more permanent accommodation for them.

More from Forces Network: How You Help Bomb Disposal Experts Get A Therapeutic Break

How will the Big Salute grant directly help? It's one thing to have a place to sleep but if all you have are four walls to stare at loneliness can become unbearable.

There are some veterans who find having a television is a great comfort because it stops their minds playing tricks on them.

Steve read out some anonymous emails from people who have directly benefitted from the fundraising.

"I was given a TV and had a 12 month license paid for. This has helped me tremendously as I am no longer sat in my own thoughts."

If you wish to donate visit their JustGiving page.

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