In an unprecedented move, Australian Lutheran College (ALC) in North Adelaide is opening up part of its accommodation wing to homeless veterans.
Homes for Heroes is a joint initiative of ALC and the RSL, which wants to provide emergency housing and support services for veterans down on their luck.
The program to support ‘vets’ was launched on 2 December on the lawns of ALC, where younger people studying under ALC’s VET (Vocational Education and Training) and Higher Education programs will have the chance to mingle with people from different walks of life.
Under the program, ALC will provide 16 beds for veterans who are homeless or facing homelessness. Clients will be provided with linen, and three meals a day at the refectory.
At the same time, the RSL will support them as they get back on their feet and return to permanent accommodation. Speaking at the launch, ALC Principal James Winderlich said Homes for Heroes was an opportunity for ALC to serve its community in a meaningful way, using the resources God has given the college.
‘This is a way we can share the God of love with people who are doing it tough —through the practical gifts of a home, food and community’, he said. ‘At the same time, the interaction between with veterans and our staff and students is going to bring blessings of the sort never seen at ALC before.
‘We’re in for an adventure with God, and we’re looking forward to seeing how it will unfold for us, and the benefits it will bring to our ALC community and to our returned service people.’
The veterans will stay at the college for short stays—‘a few weeks, two or three months, perhaps a year maximum’, said Homes for Heroes manager Ben Challinor. ‘The aim is to get them to move on when they’ve achieved selfsustainability.’
Only clients with basic needs will be accommodated at ALC. The RSL will provide assistance in other locations for those veterans requiring specialist care, including mentalhealth support.
The first client is expected to be assessed for suitability for the program before Christmas.