New awards made to tackle veteran homelessness across the UK

July 4, 2023

The Trust is delighted to announce that we have awarded £7.2 million to nine projects under the Reducing Veteran Homelessness Programme – a targeted programme to tackle the issue of veterans experiencing homelessness. Under this programme the Trust is awarding grants on behalf of the Office for Veterans’ Affairs (OVA) towards projects that contribute to the aims of the government’s ambition to reduce veteran homelessness and end rough sleeping.

These nine projects will provide support to 1,300 vulnerable veterans over two years across almost 60 housing complexes, ranging from apartment blocks to family homes. Homeless veterans across the UK will be able to access specialist medical care, connections with local communities and the tools they need to gain employment.

A new homelessness pathway for veterans

These awards form part of a two-year £8.5 million programme to fulfil the government’s pledge in the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan 2022-24 to end veteran homelessness within this Parliament. Vulnerable veterans across the UK will also have access to Op FORTITUDE, a new dedicated hotline for veteran rough sleepers. Run by Riverside Group, this £500,000 housing hotline will give homeless veterans a single point of contact to get them the help they need. Op FORTITUDE staff will refer callers to a network of support, including housing providers, charities and local authorities. We awarded this grant earlier this year.

All nine projects funded through the Reducing Veteran Homelessness Programme will be ready to take Op FORTITUDE referrals by September, expanding the pathway’s network of housing providers from 10 to 14. This includes plugging into a network of 650 homes across Scotland with Veteran Homes Scotland, as well as Wigan Council’s brand new consortium of housing across the North West of England.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Rt Hon. Johnny Mercer said: “Everyone deserves a place they can call home, not least those who have bravely served their country. Our package of support for veterans in securing homes is a huge milestone in ending veteran rough sleeping.

“There is a lot of great work being done across the country to help veterans get the right level of support. Op FORTITUDE is about bringing all of this together, so any veteran has a clear pathway to get local and customised care.

“Transitioning from the armed forces remains a challenge for some. But these wraparound services will target some really difficult problems – including employment support and mental health care – so that veterans can get back on their feet and thrive in civilian life.”

Mountbatton Pavilion – RBLI veteran accommodation

Supporting independent living

Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) have been awarded £254,550 to support their STEP-IN programme which supports homeless veterans to independent living by providing a personalised package of immediate housing with health, addiction, mental health, welfare and employment support. STEP-IN integrates multiple services and aligns them to veterans’ personal goals, helping overcome multiple challenges; and supporting veterans to move on to longer term, independent solutions.

Lisa Farmer, Chief Executive of RBLI said, “We are grateful to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund for its substantial grant of £254,000 which will enable us to increase our support to homeless veterans throughout the UK. The fund has been established as part of a programme of work to solve veteran homelessness over the next year. The resource will be used directly to offer emergency accommodation and welfare support to veterans who are either currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.”

Anna Wright, Chief Executive of the Trust said: “We are delighted to announce these awards which will provide valuable support for homeless veterans over two years. We hope these specialised support services will help to address the complex issues faced by some veterans, making sure they have access to accommodation, and giving them a greater chance of leading a stable, healthy life so that they don’t return to being homeless in future.”

Find out more

You can view the full list of projects we have supported here. You can also find out more about the Reducing Veterans Homelessness programme on the dedicated programme page.