Keeping up to date with the Cyrenians, yesterday Forces REGROUP UK was established, supporting homeless veterans by a former homeless veteran, Peter. On Facebook I noticed they included his story.
“After a 12-year military career I found myself living on the streets suffering from mental health issues. I sought help from the NHS mental health service, but at the time, they were unable to deal with many of the trauma based issues faced by veterans. I was released from hospital, but the aftercare was minimal. Eventually I turned to drugs and alcohol to help me deal with my demons.
After being made homeless due to my worsening state of mind, I arrived in Coventry and was directed to Coventry Cyrenians. With incredible amounts of patience and sensitivity, the staff addressed my homeless situation and helped me back on the road to a more positive and sustainable recovery. During this time, it became clear that although experienced in supporting rough sleepers, the charity was not equipped to deal with the issues facing the growing number of homeless veterans in Coventry and Warwickshire.
After much consideration, the staff and I came up with the idea of a specific service for homeless veterans. Foremost, the aim of the project is to empower veterans in their recovery and transition into civilian life and to reduce the number of homeless veterans living on the street. We also aim to challenge the stigma attached to homelessness and raise awareness of the problems facing ex-service personnel.”
Obviously, although this is a reliable source of information, the story is used positively to highlight Cyrenians’ efforts in supporting this particular case. A story I could quote and include in my body of work; however, the story is not site specific because it is less about sleeping rough and more focussed on Peter’s recovery.