A veterans story
Overcoming homelessness thanks to The Royal British Legion and Amicus Trust.
Former Army chef, Phil, 56, found himself homeless in September 2017 after being evicted from his last home as a result of his struggle to live with his anxiety and PTSD. Unable to answer the door, go out or speak to anyone, the calls and letters from his utility suppliers and landlord remained unanswered, leading to his eventual eviction.
Phil said: “I was absolutely terrified at the prospect of being homeless. I didn’t want to be on the streets or asking people if they would put me up. I was completely at a loss as to what to do and where to turn.”
Unfortunatley a tour of the Gulf and the Falklands had left a lasting effect on Phil that wouldn’t be diagnosed as PTSD until later down the line. “after leaving the service my marriage started to breakdown. I really didn’t know that it was PTSD affecting my behaviour.”
Phil eventually found support when he was referred to Amicus Trust, a charity offering dedicated support to homeless veterans or veterans at risk of homelessness. Phil said: “I rang Amicus and within 2 and a half hours I had been told I would have a roof over my head by the evening! ”
Amicus were able to support Phil in seeking help for his PTSD as well as providing accommodation, supporting him in setting up benefits, registering with a Doctor and daily key work. Phil also engaged with the Stepping Stones project, an education and employment project that would aid his ambitions to get back into work.
Phil adds, “It’s literally been a stepping stone for me as it has enabled me to find who I am, be happy with who I am and make plans to move forward. So much has changed and I am a completely different person to the one that was living in fear of ending up on the streets.”
In recent weeks, Phil has been interviewed for a job at a local pub and restaurant and has been offered a position as chef, a job which includes accommodation. “I’m so excited at the prospect of cooking for other people again; it is my greatest source of joy. Amicus have been amazing from day one and it’s been a completely positive whirlwind of change which has allowed me to focus and get me back on the right path. The best thing is I know that even when I move out I can always come back to Amicus for advice and support”.
With thanks to support and funding from The Royal British Legion, Amicus Trust have been able to grow their support for veterans, now offering projects in Northampton, Corby, Leicester, Aylesbury Vale and Bedford. If you an ex-member of the UK forces and want to find out more or need support please call now on 01234 358478