Supporting the homeless

Combating homelessness is a key role of the Veterans’ Foundation.

Providing a safe, secure place to call home is the springboard for change.

Whether veterans are suffering from addiction, a need for retraining, trauma and depression, or poverty, having a place to live is the starting point for a new life.

An example of how life-changing getting off the street can be is illustrated by the work of the Launchpad project.

Based in both Liverpool and Newcastle, Launchpad is run by the Armed Forces and Veterans and provides accommodation and a support path into civilian life.

It is life-saving and life-changing and is a proven model.

More projects like Launchpad across Britain would begin to address the issue of homelessness which affects thousands of veterans.

Sapper Chris Thompson, formerly of the Royal Engineers, was sleeping in a tent in the wilds of Northumberland until he was introduced to Launchpad’s Avondale House in Newcastle.

It was a moment he’s convinced saved his life.

“When I left the army I couldn’t hold down a job and my drinking became a problem. When I was in service it was the biggest drinking club in the world, it goes with the culture, but it took hold of me. I also got into drugs as I spiraled downwards.

“Being given a chance of a new future at Launchpad saved my life. There’s no doubt about that. It’s a base that my children can visit and I have so much to look forward to. I’ve not touched a drop for years and I’m considering going to university to further my studies. We just need more Launchpads – there are too many homeless veterans in Britain and it’s not acceptable.”