Warning on ex-services homeless

#3
And how is a resettlement Centre supposed to help ?? Thats for BEFORE you leave the Armed Forces. Is this government capable of any consideration, compassion or care for their servicemen ??
 
#4
Just listened to the head of the JSHAO on R4 'Today'. Apparently there's no problem because they provide such a great service. He must have forgotten to mention how hard it is for service leavers to get local authority accommodation (especially singlies), or how they seem to be stumped by questions on housing in NI. Perhaps he really does think that producing a magazine that is a barely-disguised advertising brochure for Annington Homes, and handing out leaflets is all that's needed.

Contrast and compare the amount of work apparently done by JSHAO (i.e.nil) on LA housing for service leavers with the immense amount of work put in by ARRSEr and BAFF member Hitback, whose efforts have resulted in some positive changes to the law.
 
#5
http://www.oswaldstoll.org.uk/ I had a look at their website after reading the page, there are so many organisations doing the same job (very well I might add) that you can see how massive a problem this is. I

It's nothing new, there's been loads of articles, news programs, etc about the issue but nothings ever done. What would people like to see? Extended support once you've left the forces? Better resettlement packages?

Is it the MOD's problem once we've left? Should it be? Should we take more responsibility ourselves rather than being spoon fed in the Military and then having to sort ourselves out once we've left?
 
#6
Cow said:
Is it the MOD's problem once we've left? Should it be? Should we take more responsibility ourselves rather than being spoon fed in the Military and then having to sort ourselves out once we've left?
It should certainly be an MoD (or at least government) responsibility to provide enlistment-to grave care for those who become vulnerable through service. The vast majority already do look after themselves, or are well supported by family and friends; those who become homeless are usually struggling with mental health or other problems. In many cases a simple post-discharge signposting and advisory service would help to ensure that people get the care they need. Sadly, many simply don't know where to go for advice, and the 'standard' agencies often don't understand ex-servicemen.
 
#7
Heard the radio4 interview this morning 07.08.06 on the 'Todays' programme.

ls it 6% or 22% down 10% (of how many?) of the armed forces are actually homeless.

l would strongly disagree with this, as this survey does not apparently take into consideration, the immediate families of the armed forces.

DHE make the Armed Forces Personnel, Families homeless, when they are medically discharged or at the end of their time. HAS anyone thought about including this in their research. Perhaps, they just thought (yet again) that they'd disappear.

One of the reasons why NEW LABOUR - NO SHAME must change the housing policy. How do you think Armed Forces Families cope? l am not trying to take anything away from the ex-forces homeless on the street, but if we are shinning the torchlight upon this area, well lets look at the whole picture.

Life on the street, is not what these women/men signed up for when, they signed on the line to join the forces.

Being made homeless, because that is DHE's policy, and IT IS the ONLY way the local council will look at your paperwork before even offering you accommodation i.e. bedsit, private rental, shared units - again is not what these women/men signed up for when, they signed on the line to join the forces.

l would strongly disagree with these recent figures, as they do NOT take into account the bigger picture.

What thoughts could be going through these proud people's mind, when they have gone into war on a LIE, witness some terrible atrocities, friends being injured, murdered (by NEW LABOUR - NO SHAME non-policy/LIE on lraq, as well as Afghan.). Not being able to switch off, close their eyes, and rest/sleep without it constantly re-running over, and over before them.

lmagine, (some civies have NO idea, just what it is like - they want closure by a click of the finger!) then, the above and having to ask for help regarding housing, employment. Again, l am not trying to take anything away from these guys on the street, however, the ones with a family, are trying to keep it altogether, their family, their dignity - self.

How do you explain to a child/ren, they HAVEN'T got a home, when Mam/Dad have sacrificed everything for this 'ONCE' great country? They have to leave (full-march-out required.............) their home, they too are HOMELESS. Or doesn't it count, or even included when a child/ren, the partner is also made HOMELESS? Makes a mockery of NEW LABOUR's - NO SHAME policy on 'EVERY CHILD MATTERS', apparently not, when they belong to an Armed Forces Family.....

That is one of the reasons, why l feel, before agreeing with such figures being banded about, is that we should - LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE, whilst it being debated.

NEW LABOUR - NO SHAME should be on 'Crime Watch' for this scam, as well as the murder of our troops.
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#8
Cow said:
http://www.oswaldstoll.org.uk/ I had a look at their website after reading the page, there are so many organisations doing the same job (very well I might add) that you can see how massive a problem this is. I

It's nothing new, there's been loads of articles, news programs, etc about the issue but nothings ever done. What would people like to see? Extended support once you've left the forces? Better resettlement packages?

Is it the MOD's problem once we've left? Should it be? Should we take more responsibility ourselves rather than being spoon fed in the Military and then having to sort ourselves out once we've left?
Oh that it were that simple. Many leaving the services have no family home to return to & on leaving they receive a shock that housing is not as easy to obtain as they first thought.
For a single person getting a Housing Association property is impossible. Private landlords require rent in advance & a deposit. Without an address it can be almost impossible to get a job & the spiral begins.
In my area we are lucky that we have St Matthews Housing & when they have a resident who is ex-forces they know they can refer them to ex-service charities for additional help.
http://www.stmatthewhousing.org/index.htm
BUT, should it be charities providing this service?
 
#9
Totally agree so many of them have mental health problems, which sometimes leads to the addiction route and also the break up of families.

A lot just cant cope with Civvy St and will always want to be in the forces because its the only life they know, the forces quite possible be the only family they had. As some join so young to escape thier blood families for what ever reasons.

There is a hostel in East London that only houses


veteranshttp://www.exsfc.org.uk/Pages/New_Belvadere.htm .


But they can only house about 52 residents at a time.
The MoD should have duty of care for the homeless, because they made a Civvy into a killing Machine (for many yrs maybe), and they think a 6 week resettlement course is going to turn that around , personally I dont think so from what I've seen & heard. The MoD should have a counslling office in each town so the Exserving could go to meet other vets and to offer support with thier issuses, and noone can tell they cant because they have enough recriutment offices, so likewise they should have resettlement offices.
 

elovabloke

ADC
Moderator
#10
This is a national disgrace which has been going on for many years through successive governments. If it was not for the likes of Hitback, BAFF and the arrse community nothing will change. Serving and ex serving folk must continue to work on their MPs. The excuse that they do nothing does not always ring true as proved in the recent Housing Discrimination thread. Properly worded petitions on the No10 site have also helped when used with specific issues.
 
#11
Sir_General_Jackarson said:
One of the reasons why NEW LABOUR - NO SHAME must change the housing policy. How do you think Armed Forces Families cope?
Try leaving the blame where it belongs with the countrys favourite grandmother.I'd personally bring back hanging for her, after she changed the housing policy just before I left in Dec 88.

I was lucky, I spent 9 months living in a car (trying to get accomodation) and when I did everything looked on up. Then I met a fantastic women got married but unfortunately ( best thing ever happened to us) she fell pregnant so we was made homeless again.

In 1996, Surrey Heath Council took us into sheltered accomodation (only allowed 6 months) in Camberley. When we had 4 weeks left and my daughters where 2 weeks old they informed my wife they were unlikely to find suitable family accomodation for 4 persons.

However as they had a duty of care towards her and our children they would take her and the kids into a womens refuge and I'd have to go back on to the streets. They did not have a duty of care to myself, as the law had been changed to enable councils to sell council homes to tenants. At this point my wife contacted the Army, even though she didn't know me when I was serving.

I went ballistic, however it was best thing she ever did. The Army contacted SSAFA who started to put pressure on Council to extend the 6 months until they or SSAFA found something.

This is the reason I got involved with Headley Court, I and my family owe SSAFA so much. They contacted Haig Homes and we got a beautiful house near to Odiham. We will be forever be grateful to SSAFA and Haig Homes, and I will forever hate Thatchers treatment of our armed forces.
 
#12
Sir_General_Jackarson said:
One of the reasons why NEW LABOUR - NO SHAME must change the housing policy. How do you think Armed Forces Families cope?
Sorry in Sir_General_Jackarson comments I added Conservative not him. I left it as a quote. I will learn IT eventually

Edited to remove the word Conservative as asked as wasn't in original quote.
 
#13
saztaffy said:
The MoD should have duty of care for the homeless, because they made a Civvy into a killing Machine (for many yrs maybe), and they think a 6 week resettlement course is going to turn that around , personally I dont think so from what I've seen & heard.
Hey don't forget that whopping £534 resettlement training allowance! :x

We are always told that loyalty to Regt and fellow soldiers is the absolute number 1 priority, but it certainly looks like most Regt/Corps drop you like a hot potato as soon as you're no longer their "resource".

We also expect families to drop everything and move every 2 years, rather than gain a foothold on the housing ladder like civvies are able to do. So not only are they disadvantaged for housing, the wives are less able to have a stable and progressive career than their civvy counterparts. So if the bloke struggles to get a job, she is probably less likely to be able to support them than in a civvy family of equivalent ability. Then what chance have you of getting a decent house? Sod all.

We should be back to the pre-Thatcher system of squaddies being able to get reasonable council housing when they leave and be straight onto a priority list as a reward for serving their country and putting their life on the line for HM The Queen. And also, if they choose to buy, they can get a discount for all the years they paid for their MQ. At the moment, squaddies are priced out of the market unless they chose to buy early and carry on an unaccompanied lifestyle. Have the people who are currently getting housed by the council ever done anything useful for our country? I think not.
 
#14
woolyback_bastard said:
Sir_General_Jackarson said:
One of the reasons why NEW LABOUR - NO SHAME must change the Conservative housing policy. How do you think Armed Forces Families cope?
Try leaving the blame where it belongs with the countrys favourite grandmother.I'd personally bring back hanging for her, after she changed the housing policy just before I left in Dec 88.

I was lucky, I spent 9 months living in a car (trying to get accomodation) and when I did everything looked on up. Then I met a fantastic women got married but unfortunately ( best thing ever happened to us) she fell pregnant so we was made homeless again.

In 1996, Surrey Heath Council took us into sheltered accomodation (only allowed 6 months) in Camberley. When we had 4 weeks left and my daughters where 2 weeks old they informed my wife they were unlikely to find suitable family accomodation for 4 persons.

However as they had a duty of care towards her and our children they would take her and the kids into a womens refuge and I'd have to go back on to the streets. They did not have a duty of care to myself, as the law had been changed to enable councils to sell council homes to tenants. At this point my wife contacted the Army, even though she didn't know me when I was serving.

I went ballistic, however it was best thing she ever did. The Army contacted SSAFA who started to put pressure on Council to extend the 6 months until they or SSAFA found something.

This is the reason I got involved with Headley Court, I and my family owe SSAFA so much. They contacted Haig Homes and we got a beautiful house near to Odiham. We will be forever be grateful to SSAFA and Haig Homes, and I will forever hate Thatchers treatment of our armed forces.
:D Good luck to you and your family now and the future. Yes the Grandmother also screwed up the Old Age pension, not now linked to actual cost of living, she stopped it been so. Gordon has not changed it during his ten years of bean counting. Dont let the bastards grind you down :D
 
#15
#16
woolyback_bastard said:
Sir_General_Jackarson said:
One of the reasons why NEW LABOUR - NO SHAME must change the housing policy. How do you think Armed Forces Families cope?
.
Sorry in Sir_General_Jackarson comments I added Conservative not him. I left it as a quote. I will learn IT eventually[/quote]

Thank you for your error, however, if you would like to EDIT (use the edit button, thats what it is there for), your thread - l would be extremely greatful.

However, if NEW LABOUR - NO SHAME has been in power for the last ten years (yeah, l hear the bleat of the party, that you wrongly placed in my thread), it is now, that matters. The Armed Forces have changed, the MOD keep on informing us they are adaptable. Well, there you go, they've changed.

No, longer are forces personnel going to stand back and be quiet.

We'll have to disagree, to agree - but you'll see that l am right; one day!

HOMELESSNESS, does effect the majority of the forces. This area has been very badly neglected, be it the unmarried soldier or the married soldier with/out children. Neglect: its another form of abuse, and NEW LABOUR - NO SHAME, is getting away with it....................
 
#17
I'm all for more advice to those due to leave on this matter but don't forget this is a problem for anyone whose job involves tied accommodation. We aren't unique so the campaign will be that much harder.

Can someone PM me with the current briefing given to those due out?
 
#18
One of the doctors at the surgery I work in did a survey on this. We were visited by a guy from the Homeless outreach (hate that word) centre who told us that about 15% of the homeless in Leicester were ex-forces. When we investigated this, we found that over 80% of that number had been in the Forces for less than 9 months. In the majority of cases, they had joined the Army (not RAF or RN for some reason) because they couldn't fit in with their environment. A lot of them failed to complete basic training because they couldn't fit in with the Army life, either. The others had undergone some type of training but dropped out after a relatively short time. There were, unfortunately, quite a lot that had completed 9 years or more and couldn't fit in to civvy life but relatively few had seen active service.
The outcome of the investigation was that the majority of these homeless were people who would not fit in to any environment but were classed "ex-servicemen" regardless of how long they had actually served.
A big reason for over half of those who had served 9 years or more was that their marriage had broken down on leaving the services. I was interested to be told by at least three of them that they left the Army because they had been nagged by their wives who wanted to settle down in UK and stop moving around. Once they had left the Army, the marriage broke up and the wives had taken the lion's share of savings, housing etc.
I did hear a couple of really heartbreaking stories, one that sticks in my mind was an Ex R Anglian who had served 12 years. He had served in NI but none of the Gulf escapades. His wife nagged him for years to move back to Leicester and he was given a council house as he came from that area. He couldn't find any job he was happy with (he'd been offered things like shelf stacking in Tescos) and his wife kicked him out after 8 months. Obviously, he had nowhere to go (his parents having died some years previously) and he had been sleeping rough as the homeless hostels made you queue at 4 pm (once all the beds are gone, that's it) and he had been out looking for jobs. The more he stayed on the streets, the scruffier he looked and no-one would give him an interview, let alone a job. He had no real civilian quals (he'd been a storeman) and had been sucked into the drug taking route by other homeless as a way of being able to sleep through the night.
Fortunately, the doctor doing the survey managed to get him a permanent billet in one of the hostel. After about 9 months, he had tidied up, kicked the drugs and was helping out at the hostel. Now, 2 years later, he works in the hostel and is responsible for the many ex-servicemen coming in.
Perhaps if the Forces resettlement programme actually helped you to get a job when you leave, stories like this would be less common.
 
#19
In Aldershot the MoD recently released some land to a housing charity who have built a block of flats which are solely for the use of ex forces who have just left to give them time to sort themselves out and decide what they want to do and where they want to go etc. Not sure of the length of time they can stay but someone said it was a max of 6 months. Could be wrong though.
 
#20
exbleep said:
about 15% of the homeless in Leicester were ex-forces. When we investigated this, we found that over 80% of that number had been in the Forces for less than 9 months.
This is the point I was going to make when I read the original post. I have been a volunteer for a homeless charity for over 10 years now and many of the clients claiming to be ex-forces didn't even make it through basic training. I have also found that many hostels will just accept an individual's claim to be ex-forces - no proof is requested, maybe not available - so the BBC finding that 8 out of 10 centres had ex-forces clients could well be seriously exaggerated although not deliberately so by the charities.

Technically, being found unsuitable for military service 6 weeks into basic training does classify someone as 'ex-forces' but to most reasonable people, 6 weeks training 15 years ago is a lot different from 22 years service or indeed actual trained soldier service of any length of time.

For those who have missed it, there is a link to the National Audit Office report on Forces Resettlement & Housing that was published on 27 Jul 07 on Charities & Welfare:

http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=57542.html
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top