A scheme is being launched to help homeless veterans in Plymouth.
The Royal British Legion is providing almost £20,000 grant funding to Plymouth Access to Housing (Path), a local homeless charity, to specifically support ex-Services personnel and their families. Path is also commissioned by Plymouth City Council for homeless people generally, and the Council is also the lead agency for the Community Covenant which also provides support for veterans in the city.
The service starts this month, the support aiming to prevent and reduce homelessness, helping people leaving and who have left the Services to settle in the community.
Path will work with RBL, providing a range of housing advice and support to people referred by RBL (including via the Pop-In Centre in Mayflower Street). Support will include:
- Identifying people’s housing needs and options
- Support in negotiation with accommodation providers
- Help to set up rent and other payments
- Assistance for people who are struggling with existing accommodation
- Help with moving
Director of Path, Mike Taylor, said: “We have worked directly with, and been funded by, the RBL before and have been looking forward to rekindling the relationship with them, contributing again to the support of people who have served their country.”
Daniel Elser, Head of Grants at The Royal British Legion, said: “Plymouth Access to Housing (PATH) makes a very real difference to the lives of ex-servicemen and women and their families. Their Housing Support Worker will provide valuable, practical support in gaining and maintaining safe and appropriate accommodation.
“We are proud to continue our financial support of PATH’s work with the Armed Forces community, and know that our most recent grant will be put to excellent use.”
Councillor Philippa Davey, Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities for Plymouth City Council, said: “It is really important that we do all we can to support veterans as they move back into the local community, and this new project will compliment other schemes in the city such as the Corporate Covenant and the Community Covenant.”
Councillor Pauline Murphy, Armed Forces Champion for Plymouth City Council, said: “This is a fantastic scheme and I fully support it – the more all the local agencies network and work together in this way, the better we can provide help to veterans who may otherwise fall through the gap.
“Enabling referrals to be made by RBL via their flagship Pop-In Centre will also make it easier for veterans to seek help when they need it.”
Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Cooperatives and Housing for Plymouth City Council, said: “We are delighted that Path, our local provider for housing support in the city, has been chosen by RBL to deliver this scheme, and we will be working very closely with them and RBL to make sure our services complement each other and maximise support for our veterans.
“Here in Plymouth we recognise that veterans are more vulnerable to becoming homeless as they adjust after leaving the forces and this is one of a number of schemes. The Council is also currently working with the Community Self-Build Agency and DCH to enable more self-build opportunities for homeless veterans so we hope to be able to make an exciting announcement on that very soon.”