Former service men and women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness will be supported by a new information and referral service dedicated to addressing their needs.
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said Link2home Veterans and Ex-Service would support individuals and families to access accommodation and connect them with specialist homelessness services.
“This division of Link2home will be dedicated to supporting veterans experiencing homelessness and will be operated by specially trained staff, well-versed in finding them the appropriate assistance that suits their needs,” Mr Ward said.
“Our Government is committed to tackling homelessness in all its forms and this dedicated service will provide the critical first step towards rebuilding their lives.”
According to data collected by homelessness services, Australian Defence Force personnel were twice as likely as other clients to be rough sleepers, and were also less likely than the general population to access homelessness services.
Acting Minister for Veterans Geoff Lee said securing housing solutions for ex-service men and women at risk of homelessness is critical.
“We want to break down the barriers preventing ex-servicemen and women asking for help,” Mr Lee said. “Many former servicemen and women are used to being self-reliant, but we want to make sure they know help is available and we are here to support them.”
Parliamentary Secretary for Veterans James Griffin said Link2home Veterans and Ex-Service would make it easier for people seeking support to access the services they need.
“Our Government is ready, willing and able to help people into safe and stable housing and to work with them to break the cycle of homelessness,” Mr Griffin said. “This program will help prevent former defence personnel ending up on the street, by connecting them with a range of support services available.”
CEO of homelessness service Veterans 360 Jay Devereux said the service would help build trust with clients and improve the chances of engaging them with support.
“With the appropriate training, staff will better understand the unique issues veterans face, and have the ability to make them feel comfortable and supported,” Mr Devereux said. “Securing housing for veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness is critical, and this service is another step in the right direction.”
Link2home Veterans and Ex-Service will be contactable on 1800 326 989, 24-7. For more information, visit www.facs.nsw.gov.au/housing/help/ways/are-you-homeless.