RSL LifeCare – tackling veteran homelessness
In August 2020, the RSL DefenceCare team joined RSL LifeCare Veteran Services. This move brought two programs that tackle veteran homelessness much closer together – RSL DefenceCare and Homes for Heroes (a program of RSL LifeCare).
With both programs working together, there is a more holistic view of a clients’ needs, and the opportunity to help support the client to find more stable accommodation, while also looking at other factors impacting their physical and mental wellbeing.
One such client was Karl*: A veteran of the Australian Army, Karl was referred to both RSL DefenceCare and Homes for Heroes by his local RSL sub-branch. He had been struggling with mental health issues and was experiencing homelessness.
Homes for Heroes helped Karl with transition accommodation while the RSL DefenceCare Housing project officer set about finding him a more permanent living situation. During this time, Karl was also referred for mental health support to the National Centre for Veterans’ Healthcare at Concord Hospital in Sydney.
Using the NSW Department of Community & Justice’s Rent Choice Veterans program, RSL DefenceCare was able to help Karl locate and apply for a new home. Karl’s application was successful, and RSL DefenceCare helped him settle in by assisting him with financial support for rental bond, an advance on rent and some household goods. This support gave Karl somewhere to call home and the sense of security and self-empowerment he needed to embrace a more positive outlook for the future.
You can contact RSL DefenceCare by calling 02 8088 0388 or visiting rsldefencecare.org.au
You can contact Homes for Heroes by calling 1300 183 933 or visiting homesforheroes.org.au
*Name changed for privacy purposes