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Free Home For Homeless Veterans Open In Ayrshire, Scotland

Building materials were paid for by the charity Soldiers Off The Streets (SOTS) but most of the construction was completed by local...

The Craig Barber House, Troon, Ayrshire. 

Amid applause and a bagpiper’s lament, the Craig Barber House for homeless veterans was officially opened in Troon, Ayrshire.

Named after a former Sapper who passed away in January, the plaque that bears Barber’s name was unveiled by his father as he blinked back tears.

Building materials were paid for by the charity Soldiers Off The Streets (SOTS) but most of the construction was completed by local tradesmen who worked for free.

Craig Barber's father unveils the plaque that bears his name.
Craig Barber's father unveils the plaque that bears his name.

With lengthy waiting times for social housing and an estimated one in ten homeless people having served in the Armed Forces, the charity thinks demand for a room in the house will be high. 

 “There’s a lot of ex-service personnel living on the streets,” project manager Brian Gibson told Forces News.

“It’s our goal, or hopefully our goal, to get them all off the streets and into houses.”

SOTS is working to combat homelessness among veterans across Scotland.
SOTS is working to combat homelessness among veterans across Scotland.

“I think we’ve achieved great things in a short space of time,” Donna Louise Armstrong, who volunteers with the charity, added. “I hope it benefits a lot of veterans!”

Veterans will be able stay for up to three months and will be given help finding employment during that time. 

“It’s not forever,” said Andrew Hainey, a Private in the Royal Logistics Core.

“But this place will definitely give you the boost to get up and go. You make bonds here, as long as you pull your own weight and you’re just a genuine person. You’ll have a great time here and when you leave here you’ve still made friends for life.”