Kettering ex-soldier’s bid to battle veteran homelessness

Darryl Holmes.
Darryl Holmes.

A former soldier from Kettering is hoping to raise half a million pounds to tackle homelessness among veterans.

Darryl Holmes, 36, wants to create an innovative solution - a village made of shipping containers.

Darryl Holmes.

Darryl Holmes.

Military charities estimate at least 13,000 war heroes are left on the streets after leaving the forces with many suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Darryl, who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2002, said: “Veterans make lots of sacrifices for their country.

“It’s tragic that when they leave the forces thousands are left penniless, homeless and without food.

“A lot of veterans come out of the armed forces as a broken person. I want to do something to help.”

The ex-soldier believes his shipping container solution, which has taken off in America, would create a cost-effective shelter giving veterans their own space and address to seek work, get help and get themselves back on their feet.

On his fundraising page he said he would work with councils to secure a site for the community. Each container would have a partition to separate the living space from the kitchen and bedroom.

He said: “This will give our veterans a sense of pride and self-worth that they might have lost after being unable to cope and re-integrate into civilian life.”

Darryl, who suffers from PTSD, witnessed friends being killed and maimed and has since been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

He said he’s lucky when compared to the thousands of veterans forced to live on the streets and that ‘real life’ is nothing like the military bubble.

He said: “A friend lost both of his legs. There was a fatality in the regiment.

“Some of the things you see are horrific, but I was lucky compared to a lot of people.

“Veterans don’t feel as though they can ask for help. You’ve been taught to be a problem solver, and feel you don’t need to rely on others to solve that problem.

“A lot of people go into the armed forces because they have no support network. Even if you have, you can lose contact with friends who aren’t in the forces.

“You’re in a bubble, and then when you come out that bubble is gone and often people are left with no-one.”

Donate to Darryl’s appeal here.