Help for our homeless heros

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by mack1966, Jan 22, 2009.

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  1. Are there enough places available to treat and support homeless former service personnel? Also, are those organisations who are trying to do something, doing the full job. I have done a little research and have so far found (and I might be wrong and I would be happy if some one were to correct me!!) that they all do bits, some re-house, some re-train, some de-tox the drug and alcohol users but no-one does it all.

    I am at present trying to set up a charity and a “social enterprise” where all the profits of the business goes straight back in to the company to provide more placements. I have got to say what a ball ache it all is. There is very little funding from the central government for this kind of supportive organisation and what funding there is, you have to jump through so many hoops to get it, it makes you want to give up. I have been at this for six months so far and the only funding I have got so far is to cover the cost of setting up the charity.

    We all need to do something, according to the official numbers there can be over 1000 (yes that’s right ONE THOUSAND) homeless on any given night in London alone, never mind the rest of the country. These guys have served in the Falklands, either of the two gulf wars, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan or all of these. But the question is where do we get the cold hard cash to do it? My business plan calls for just short of £1.7million for a five year project that will help just 250 of the 1,100 homeless ex-service men and women.

    Any ideas will be gratefully received.
     
  2. Schaden

    Schaden LE Book Reviewer

    1.7million over 5 years? Feck me how much are you paying yourself - I mean you do pay yourself for this service...right?
     
  3. Most of the cash would be spent on property and up grading the property to meet D.D.A. approval, then there is the setting up of a secondary business that will be used for training and confidence building. However, as with many such projects wages account for nearly 50% of the cost. I would draw down £30k for running both business and spending around 16 hrs a day developing said business. The guy that runs the big issue, draws in the region of k60-70k a year. I'm not sure how much the boss of the British legion is on, but I suspect its a dam site more than £30k.
     
  4. Good for you. Setting up a mid sized charity in a recession is a challenging task.

    The issues around homeless ex servicemen have attracted much comment on other threads here, some are well worth reading over.

    There are of course a great many charities in the UK aimed at the homeless, (over 800), and many agencies serve ex servicemen. Unfortunately, the numbers on the streets are bound to grow over the coming years for all the reasons we are aware of. Nonetheless, good work is done. This is one example of an organisation which is a joint venture between business and the MOD, http://www.veterans-uk.info/homelessness/project.html

    What specific advice are you looking for and may I ask how much research have you done and what your own background is?
     
  5. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Good Egg (charities)

    Why not approach RBL or SSAFA Forces Help with your Business Plan, and run your business under their umbrella?

    Just a thought, but that would give you 'critical mass', a nice fat contact book, a respectable and trustworthy face, and a network of bods to help your clients.

    Both already run various houses, shelters, training schemes, holiday homes, care homes, etc., and I'm sure there's an opportunity for you to work closely with either.

    Also, the Army, RAF and Navy Benevolent Funds might be good sources of information and dosh.
     
  6. Lottery funding?

    If you do get it up and running I would gladly volunteer my services as a counsellor/psychotherapist
     
  7. Isn't it right that if you control a charity and wish to be paid a salary then you have to relinquish control?
     
  8. It is a most noble enterprise....

    However, creating another service charity that must draw from the same finite pot of donations as the others reduces the share that each has to 'play with'. You just need to look at the success of H4H and the impact its had on other charities' receipts.

    Might i suggest that you approach an established charity with your business plan to implement it under their umbrella and take advantages of economies of scale?
     
  9. I have done a lot of research in to drug alcohol addictions and its connection with homelessness and crime; I served for nine years in the Air Corp until 1994, and have worked in Community Safety and Development for local authorities (councils)for the past eight years, dealing with drug addicts and the resulting anti-social behaviour. I have spent most of this time closing down drug dens and making people homeless, seams ironic I want to switch sides!.

    With regards advice, I am looking for, in the crudest of terms, cash, money, funds. I have a plethora of government agencies who wish to assist me in my venture, but they all want to give business advice, not funds.
     
  10. I have done a lot of research in to drug alcohol addictions and its connection with homelessness and crime; I served for nine years in the Air Corp until 1994, and have worked in Community Safety and Development for local authorities (councils)for the past eight years, dealing with drug addicts and the resulting anti-social behaviour. I have spent most of this time closing down drug dens and making people homeless, seams ironic I want to switch sides!.

    With regards advice, I am looking for, in the crudest of terms, cash, money, funds. I have a plethora of government agencies who wish to assist me in my venture, but they all want to give business advice, not funds.

    Thanks for all your comments today, it's great to know people out there do care. Once the charity has been recognised by the Charities Commission I will be making contact with RBL and S.S.A.F.A. and H4H. And fingerbob, when, not if, but when I get this off the ground I will give you a call. Thanks guys.
     
  11. Sven, you are right, I am not in control of the charity, there are three trustees at present, with no family or other connection, I will be looking for at least another two, once it has been given charitable status. This is to ensure there is nothing sinister going on with any of the funds or property. I am a director of the business which supplies staff and work to the charity and it is from this business I will take, in the scheme of things a small wage, the charity will hold all funds and property. I have worked on building up connections, writing business plans, finding property, researching what is already available and how they work, unpaid for the last twelve months, whilst trying to hold down a paid job, I want no thanks, I'm not a martyr but I do want to dedicate all of my time properly to this cause, I feel it is so important. I do not have a forces pension to fall back on, not yet and not for at least twenty five years!

    I know there are some fantastic work being done out there but we need to do more. When this business makes a profit, it will all go back in to improving services to those in need, including those other charities that are doing similar work to this charity.
     
  12. Mack,

    Why don't you get together with the ARRSE'rs on here who run the Holidays for Heroes with the help of Sgt Slingsby, it sounds like you could help each other and in the process help hundreds if not thousands of our homeless and needy Ex Servicemen...

    The excellent and hilarious book "Picking Up the Brass" written by two ARRSE'rs (Convoy_Cock & Rigger) raises a pound for Help 4 Heroes for every copy sold.

    I am Co-Author of the very soon to be published "Pull Up a Sandbag" which again, a pound from every book sale will go direct to Help For Heroes, we will be looking at also giving Signed Prints of the Cover Art out here for the various ARRSE Auctions, we can all help...
     
  13. Gundulph, thanks, sounds like a great idea. Would you be able to make the introductions? I have no idea how this dammed site works, registered on to this morning at around 03:00hrs for the first time. I'm currently up-dating the business plan.
     
  14. Mack

    Are you on armyaviation? If not PM me.