A very exciting project in partnership with UK charity Veterans Aid and Bloomberg was completed in 2016 to help veterans escape homelessness.
Through our subsidiary, Habitat for Humanity GB Homes, we partner with local charities to refurbish and renovate their housing and building stock.
By subsidising the cost of our work with grants and charitable donations we can help them provide an even greater service to the communities they support.
We recently completed a project refurbishing part of New Belvedere House, a hostel for ex-servicemen owned and operated by the charity Veterans Aid. Supported by Bloomberg, we were able to provide Veterans Aid with a considerable reduction in the cost of the refurbishment.
The project involved work on the former rectory that provided the hostel’s move-on accommodation. In 2015, through its corporate partnership programme, Bloomberg had signed up to provide volunteer labour from its workforce.
The aim was to increase capacity and transform the old building into an inspirational space where veterans who had been homeless, or faced the prospect of homelessness, could prepare for sustainable independent living.
Fighting homelessness among veterans
Bloomberg employees arrived in daily rotas to work on the restoration and make-over. The result was a thoughtfully designed and uplifting facility where residents could be accommodated in comfort and dignity while preparing for sustainable, independent living. It featured:
343 sq metres of carpet
Typically 12 Bloomberg volunteers a day participated in the project; a total of 1,200 individuals providing more than 5,000 hours of pro bono manpower.
Our collaboration with Veterans Aid
The UK-based charity Veterans Aid has been helping ex-servicemen and women in crisis since 1932. It is a frontline, operational charity that provides immediate, practical support to those in dire need.
Veterans Aid deals with all the factors that contribute to crisis and social isolation – significantly those leading to homelessness. In 2016 Veterans Aid:
Provided 22,000 nights of accommodation
Appropriately homed 154 veterans
Welcomed 411 new clients
Completion of The Old Rectory building was the first phase of a project that will turn New Belvedere House into a flagship facility, safeguarding its future, increasing its capacity and providing enhanced development opportunities for the veterans who, for a short time, regard it as their home.
What veterans said about the project
“It’s like a big family here, we’ve all got similar backgrounds. Here, there’s a great foundation for you to rebuild your life and start again”. (Paul McEwan – ex-Royal Marine)
“It’s a way of giving you back your independence, of making you feel human again.” (Clement Nnoli – ex-Royal Logistic Corps)
What volunteers said about the project
“It’s important that Bloomberg supports veterans because some of these guys have put their lives at risk in front lines, and to support them is critical.”
“It’s going to be a very gratifying, fulfilling project and with very tangible results.”
“There aren’t that many organisations that would undertake such a project. I think that’s fantastic and I feel very, very proud of our organisation because of it.”
Most people who go through losing and re-gaining a home, go on to have successful lives. And we can already tell everyone in Bloomberg that their involvement in this project will absolutely transform lives for our veterans.
As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the company’s philanthropy and engagement programme harnesses the unique expertise and talent of its employees to strengthen communities and improve quality of life worldwide.
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