HOMELESS veterans have been praising the vital support provided by Salisbury-based charity Alabare.

The charity provides Homes for Veterans in Salisbury and at a number of other locations across the country and says demand for the service is increasing.

Steve, who served in the army for six years, lost his accommodation after his employment came to an end. But news of his new job came too late.

For three months he slept in his car before being told about Alabare. He is now living in Alabare's Homes for Veterans in Salisbury.

Steve, who has also had to live on the street, said: “It has been brilliant. In all honesty if I hadn’t moved in last year I honestly think I wouldn’t be here by now. The support from moving in has been perfect, it’s been brilliant.”

He says the charity has been able to help with Job Centre, council and medical paperwork.

In Salisbury, the charity can provide accommodation for up to 14 veterans which will increase with the opening of Wilton Hill later in the year.

Tom, who served in the army for 16 years and was based in Bulford, suffered a brain injury after falling off an obstacle course which has left him with an ongoing problems. He was working after leaving the army and started suffering seizures.

He says he tried to take his own life and after coming out of hospital found himself homeless.

He said: “My injury keeps happening. I had nowhere to turn and turned to Alabare. It offers me shelter and support with my injury.

“They have been absolutely brilliant in my recovery.”

“If it wasn’t there I don’t think I would be here,” he added. “The workers here feel like part of your family.”

Another veteran, who has been receiving support from the charity, said: “It is so important to have those four walls to feel safe."

“What helps me personally is being around other ex-soldiers.”

Debbie Brittain, Alabare’s Wiltshire Homes for Veterans manager, said she has seen demand from homeless veterans increased especially in terms of the mental health side of support as well as a rise in the number of veterans the charity sees through the doors in Salisbury.

She said: "Yes [we are seeing more veterans through the doors]. When I started we had seven now we have 14 that has doubled since I have been doing the job. That has been three and a half years."

Debbie says she believes this is likely to increase.

To support Alabare's Homes for Veterans Appeal or for more information go to alabare.co.uk