Charity opens new housing project for homeless veterans in Gosport

CEREMONY MP Caroline Dinenage with members of the community and Alabar� staff at the opening of Alabar�'s Portsmouth and Gosport Home for Veterans
CEREMONY MP Caroline Dinenage with members of the community and Alabar� staff at the opening of Alabar�'s Portsmouth and Gosport Home for Veterans
The Russian destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov as seen from HMS Somerset in the Moray Firth

Royal Navy ship shadows a Russian destroyer

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HOMELESS and vulnerable veterans are being offered a place to stay at a new supported housing project.

The home in Orion Avenue, Priddy’s Hard, Gosport, opened its doors yesterday to ex-servicemen and women who are homeless or struggling with civilian life.

It has been leased to the Alabaré Christian Care and Support charity with the help of Seafarers UK and individual sponsors.

With room for four people, it aims to give veterans a roof over their head while they search for permanent accommodation.

Support workers will also help them get used to independent living and deal with any issues they may have.

Dawn Foster, a senior support worker at the home, said: ‘It’s all about getting back into civilian life.

‘Generally if they are homeless then there is a reason for that. It could be money management problems or a marriage breakdown.

‘So we help them with budgeting and things like that, or if they need counselling we put them in touch with the right agencies. The idea is that in six to nine months time they should be in a position where they are thinking about moving on.’

The home was officially opened by Gosport’s MP Caroline Dinenage yesterday.

Representatives from Alabaré, Seafarers UK and Gosport Borough Council were at the event along with the home’s two current residents.

Ms Dinenage said: ‘For so long we have expected our armed forces to give up so much for us and I’m not sure that we have done enough to help them out as well.

‘The problem of homelessness is a growing one. This home is a great idea and they do very good work.

‘It’s such a great scheme.’

The charity’s chief executive Andrew Lord said he hopes to open more homes in Portsmouth and Gosport.

He said: ‘I used to live in Gosport so it’s especially pleasing for me to be able to open a home here.

‘What these homes are trying to do is provide care and support for ex-servicemen and women who are homeless. We hope to open further homes in both Portsmouth and Gosport and get up to 15 spaces.’

As well as veterans, Alabaré runs homes for vulnerable women, ex-offenders and people with drug or alcohol addictions.