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Some veterans of the armed forces have nothing when they leave. Homeless and suffering with mental health, drug and alcohol problems, they live on the streets of Sunderland. Veterans in Crisis is there for them: we help them to find a place to live and – thanks to the generous gifts of the people of Sunderland – fill it with all the furniture and white goods that will make it a home. Demand for our services is growing, and we need to scale up if we are going to help everyone who needs it. Our Transit van isn’t big enough: we need a Luton van with a tail lift. Growing the operation will also create jobs for veterans – our ultimate goal for the people we meet on the streets. We are aiming to raise £10,000 for a good second-hand vehicle and we need your help to do it. We will be very grateful, and so will the homeless veterans and their families who you will help to move into a fully furnished home.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
The people of Sunderland are incredibly generous – they donate furniture, white goods, electrical goods, toys – you name it – to Veterans in Crisis. We distribute these goods to veterans of the armed forces and their families who are in need. The difference it makes is incredible. From having nothing – many are homeless when we first meet them – their accommodation is transformed into a home. When we started, a Transit van was fine, but the volume of donations has increased and we need a bigger vehicle, ideally one with a tail lift to help us to get heavy, bulky items in and out of it. The benefits of having the right vehicle will be huge. We can collect more stuff, more often, meaning that we can help more people, more often. By helping us to buy the van, you will be supporting homeless people and their families, creating volunteering opportunities and jobs for veterans to work on the van, and helping us to make Sunderland the best place in the UK for veterans to thrive.
Steps to get it done:
We work closely with the health service, the council, housing, employment and training agencies in Sunderland. They know that as veterans ourselves, we are the best people to provide front-line support to veterans in crisis. We work closely with Gentoo and other housing providers which means that we can get homeless veterans housed very quickly; we have armed forces ambassadors in every GP surgery, in the Jobcentre and probation offices and with the police. This which means that veterans in crisis can get instant help from someone who understands them. Our future plans include opening a shop in Sunderland where we can store and sell donated items, with all the money going to support veterans in crisis. We want to create volunteering opportunities for veterans and, when they are up to it, we want to create jobs for them. Having the right transport is essential if we are to going to achieve these things.
About the space
Veterans in Crisis supports veterans and their families from across the whole of Sunderland
Sunderland City Council