As part of Stephen Morgan’s campaign to ensure a better deal for our armed services and veterans, this week the City MP visited a home set up to support ex-service personnel who are homeless or vulnerable.
The Portsmouth South Member of Parliament has been meeting with, and visiting the services of, a number of organisations in our area to understand the challenges veterans face, and raising issues in Parliament and with Ministers.
On Armed Forces Day last month Stephen wrote to the Defence Secretary calling for the government to do more to support serving and ex-service personnel. An armed forces covenant is in place to help support the transition to civilian life but Stephen is pushing for the plan to have “teeth” and greater backing from government and businesses alike.
Responding to a visit this week to see firsthand the work of Alabare – a charity based in the region supporting the homeless – Stephen Morgan MP said:
“Our nation’s veterans are without doubt exceptional men and women who have loyally served their country, committed to excellence, duty, and public service.
Yet despite this, when choosing to finish their service in the military, veterans often find the transition back to civilian life fraught with uncertainty and extremely stressful.
Our country owes it to them to help them get back on their feet during times of difficulty. And certainly no veteran should ever be forced to sleep on our nation’s streets”.
Alabare’s Homes for Veterans service is the largest provider of supported accommodation for homeless veterans of working age outside of London. Every night the charity provides over 120 beds across 27 homes dedicated to ex-service personnel who are homeless and vulnerable.
On the visit, Stephen met with a number of people who have been helped by the work of the charity or reside at one of their homes.
Brian served a total of 15 years around the world including on multiple tours in Northern Ireland and Cyprus. After retiring from the Marines, his relationship broke down and he had no where to live other than a van. Alabare provided a roof over Brian’s head, supporting him with financial issues, depression and general health.
Speaking about the service received Brian said: “I am so lucky in the help I received. I cannot thank the staff at Alabare’s Homes for Veterans enough”.
Andrew Lord, Alabare Chief Executive said:
“It was a real pleasure to welcome the MP for Portsmouth South Stephen Morgan to one of our Hampshire services.
Stephen was able to spend the afternoon hearing the stories of our service users and how Alabaré is helping them in their time of need upon leaving the forces.
Our service users also had the opportunity to pose questions to Stephen and discuss what more can be done to help Veterans make a successful transition in to civilian life”.
Stephen Morgan MP added:
“I have been really impressed by the work of Alabare and welcomed the visit to see their work firsthand.
As well as offering supported housing, I am pleased to learn about their specialist care and guidance to vulnerable veterans over the age of 65.
I will continue to stand up for service personnel and veterans in Parliament and work with local groups to ensure in Portsmouth they always get the support they need”.