Homeless veteran lying in his car

Holistic approach needed to address veteran homelessness

RSL Queensland 17 July 2020

RSL Queensland reaffirms its commitment to supporting homeless veterans.

RSL Queensland has reaffirmed its commitment to providing wellbeing and welfare assistance and critical support to Australia’s Defence family in the wake of a report into veteran homelessness.

The Australian Journal of Social Issues published research today that found approximately 5800 veterans experienced homelessness across a 12-month period.

RSL Queensland General Manager Veteran Services Rob Skoda said RSL Queensland’s Veteran Homelessness Program – delivered in partnership with The Salvation Army – has helped 234 veterans and their families find safe, permanent accommodation.

“By addressing the root causes behind veteran homelessness at the same time as we work to find them suitable accommodation, we aim to break the cycle that has led to them becoming homeless in the first place,” Mr Skoda said.

“We are seeing a 26 per cent increase in demand for our homelessness program year on year, with most veterans falling within the 40-60 age bracket."

He said RSL Queensland provided practical evidence-based services and programs targeted to the most pressing needs that transitioning service people face.

“Service people often feel a profound sense of loss when they leave Defence and some struggle with fitting back into civilian life,” Mr Skoda said.

“RSL Queensland’s Veteran Service Team works closely with veterans to guide their transition to civilian life with a focus not just on housing but other areas that can impact homelessness such as employment, wellbeing, advocacy, quality of life, relationships and Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) assistance.

“As the largest ex-service organisation in Queensland, RSL Queensland invests in research, targeted programs and proven initiatives to make this transition as easy, smooth and accessible as possible.”

RSL Queensland encourages veterans to call 134 RSL if they need help for themselves or a family member.

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