Recent numbers that have been banded around with regards to rough sleeping military veterans exceeded 12,000.
A number which seemed incredibly high especially due to the fact we work closely with several military housing charities and have seen the work these organisations do in providing assistance to former members of our Armed Forces.
We decided that a housing special was needed and we knew exactly the right man for the job, Ed Tytherleigh.
Ed is the CEO of STOLL and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience around this issue.
This episode was extremely important to us as with all our conversations.
Our focus is to provide help, support and guidance to others as well as declassifying stigma’s.
We do this by using stories from the military community.
Talking about housing on our podcast, I knew it would impact a lot of people, especially how Ed clearly articulates what can be done by individuals, local authorities and housing providers alike to improve things for everyone.
Our conversation starts around Ed’s upbringing and schooling, but quickly turns to his obvious passion for helping others.
He has worked in countries like Afghanistan, Rwanda and Kosovo as an aid worker to working with rough sleepers on the streets on Manchester and London.
An almost inherent need to use this knowledge saw him take up the role as CEO of STOLL and also chair the COBSEO military housing cluster.
We discussed the modern history of veteran housing and why STOLL first opened its doors due to the need to house those that were injured on the battlefields of the first world war.
Of course, those that fought in this conflict are now all gone, but housing our injured service personnel is still very much at the forefront of what STOLL does.
The future need for those that have served, especially the requirements of often complex needs following the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are now at the forefront of what Ed and STOLL are committed to achieving.
This has seen growth not just in the amount of homes provided but also in how and why that housing is delivered.
It is worth saying at this point only a small amount of service leavers face either physical and/or psychological injury and most thrive in civilian life but time and time again the need for suitable social housing is a problem.
We speak at depth around this during our chat.
What can be done by all housing providers big and small?
Well the best thing you can do is sign up to the Veteran Nomination Scheme (VNS) by visiting Stoll’s website and emailing email@example.com, or calling 020 7381 8652.
If you would like to listen to Ed’s episode or many more inspiring conversations please either visit www.declassifiedpodcast.com or find us on all podcast platforms such as iTunes and Spotify.
If I can help in any way, please contact me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media at @michael__coates, @hqcombat or @declasspocast.