Letter: Helping homeless veterans in Hastings and Rother

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During 2017 SSAFA, The Armed Forces Charity, covering Hastings and Rother, managed to support 12 veterans, who were homeless, find and settle them into accommodation in Hastings and Bexhill.

Currently we have six veterans in need of accommodation, one of whom has two dogs, pleasant, well-behaved animals who have played a part in his survival, especially while rough sleeping. All have been vetted by SSAFA, and those recovering from PTSD are supported long term.

SSAFA Hastings and Rother has a special purpose group, sponsored by The Silver Lady Fund, dedicated to veterans with PTSD, by providing a level of stability, routes to recovery through NHS and other agencies ultimately employment and independence. An essential part of this is housing.

Unfortunately PTSD is not sufficient a condition for veterans to qualify for social housing, so it rests with the private sector to accommodate them.

Some landlords seem less reluctant to accept tenants claiming local housing allowance but in the instance of veterans, SSAFA will always help overcome issues where it can, should they arise. This is an added benefit to landlords and should make veteran tenants more attractive.

Should any landlords wish to discuss renting accommodation to any of the six veterans currently with SSAFA and others in the future, I would welcome the opportunity to meet them.

I can be contacted on 07884263824. Equally if you are a veteran suffering from PTSD or mental illness contact me on this number or c/o ESRA, 5 Harold Place, Hastings were our group has an office.

Bernard Stonestreet

SSAFA Hastings and Rother

Beauharrow Road, St Leonards