am a 38 year old Ex-British Soldier. Served wit h the Royal Regiment Of Artillery in a fine Battery.
My service was as any others, fantastic, i loved the job, it was everything i dreamed of as a little boy. Being around a group of lads i could trust and turn too, real friends.
After i had served a good few years, i found i had a few mental health obstacles arise, some from my service and some from other unresolved issues from my past.
i was sent to a Military hospital in Germany called Wegberg, where i was held for many months without leave. Eventually i was discharged with a stress disorder from catterick. This is where life begun to fold in on itself.
And so began 12 years of homelessness, addiction to various substances and the crime to fund these ever worsening addictions. Then began the prison sentences. I would end up in jail, sort myself out and then be released back onto the streets, where again to deal with living under such lonely and extreme circumstances i would inevitably fall into addiction and crime again and again.
On the occasions i approached local housing authorities, i was told i didn’t have priority for housing as i was a single man, my service to my country seemed to matter not either!
In november 2013 i robbed a bank with the soul intention of being shot and killed by the armed response unit, as my life seemed doomed and i was sick of the same cycle that i had no way of eleveating.
My biggest problem was housing! Whilst in HMP Liverpool, i again tried to take my own life, thankfully, due to the actions of a prison officer, also an ex soldier himself my life was saved. He made several referrals to a few agencies to get me help.
one of these agencies was Help 4 Homeless Veterans. When the organization heard of my plight, they offered me accommodation. I wasn’t to bowled over as i had been put into accommodation by a similar charity and it was awful to say the very least.
So on the day i was released from prison, clean from substances and with a new lease of life i arrived at my new home……Oh my god! I walked in the front door to a fully furnished newly built apartment in the Yorkshire countryside. At first i thought, this is a joke, or there has to be a catch. But it seemed that was just my suspicious beliefs carried over form my previous life on the street.
Tom and his team had worked tirelessly to have a home ready for me, everything you could think of to start a new life, even down to food in the fridge and cupboards, to shampoo in the immaculate bathroom.
On the 20th sept 2014 a new life begun for me, a life free from fear, free from being assaulted or attacked on the streets, free from feeling less than human.
I am not invisible anymore, i have my family and a close group of friends who offer all kinds of support when i need it.
If it wasn’t for this charity’s intervention it is doubtful i would still be here, There is so much your donations do for people like me, i am now member of society, i have a purpose and many goals, all of which are very achievable now.
So on that note, i would like to thank all those at Help For Homeless Veterans, especially Tom, Jean, and Anthony for putting your hand into mine and supporting me when i needed it most, And i would also like to thank all those who have fundraised and made donations to this wonderful charity.
Your donated gifts…….Truly give a gift of life…..
I served in the army for 11 years serving in numerous areas of conflict. I left the army to concentrate on a family life. Just after Christmas i was told to move out of the family home and as i had no-where to turn to, lived in my car for a number of days until a friend of mine told me to give a number a call and ask for help. I was living a considerable distance away and was very dubious, as i was told there would be a roof over my head and food in the cupboards. Normally if something sounds too good to be true it normally is! Any how I contacted the number I was given on the Wednesday, explained my situation. I had no money, scant possessions and no means of travel. I was advised to get a price of transportation from where i was to where accommodation would be provided for me. I could not belive the speed in which i was being offered help, on the Friday of the same week I was on my way and able to forget about the troubles behind me and able to focus on my future. After a very long journey by coach, i was met at the coach station by the CEO of the charity, i was freezing cold, hungry in need of a cigarette. I was immediately made welcome and driven to the house that was to become my home. Everything i could possibly ask for was there right down to socks if i needed them.