An army veteran with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and issues with alcohol, Craig became homeless in the middle of the pandemic.
Craig was in the army for 19 years and during his last tour, 18 of his friends were killed in action. He recently left and his experiences have had a significant impact on his mental health, causing PTSD. But Craig didn’t feel like he could turn to anyone for help or support because he thought it wasn’t what army veterans do – especially someone who was a martial arts champion and physical trainer for his regiment. He concluded people would tell him to toughen up and get on with it, so he turned to alcohol to numb the anxiety.
He was living at his girlfriend’s house after leaving the army but when his alcohol use got out of control, she asked Craig to leave and he found himself rough sleeping. During the outbreak of COVID-19, Craig was placed in an emergency B&B accommodation and was referred to Launchpad for longer-term support. Within six days, Launchpad’s team assessed Craig on the phone, moved him into our supported housing, allocated him a support worker and developed a support plan to get him back on his feet – all while working hard to keep both Craig and our staff safe from the virus.
Support staff then worked with Craig to get him registered with a GP; connected him with Change Grow Live to address his alcohol use; helped him apply for medical benefit and a white goods grant from the army; and set him up with a psychologist to address his PTSD.
When Craig moved into his property he was so grateful and thanked the team for giving him the first building block to get his life back on track – particularly in the middle of lockdown. Since we’ve been working with him, he’s told us how overwhelmed he’s been with the help that is available out there and that he’s not felt this stable for a long time. Craig said it shows what having secure accommodation can do for everything else in your life. We couldn’t agree more, Craig.