CHPQ & SMEAC Inc. join forces to tackle veteran homelessness

CHPQ Executive Officer, Stephen Simpson and SMEAC Inc. Director, Tim Cuming

The Council to Homeless Persons Queensland (CHPQ) and SMEAC Inc. have joined forces to work together on the problem of veteran homelessness.

Ex-serving men and women face unique risk factors that place them at a significantly higher risk of homelessness, however, the true scale of the issue is likely greater than current data suggests. SMEAC Inc. is a veteran-owned and run, not-for-profit charitable association dedicated to improving the wellbeing of veterans and reducing veteran suicide. SMEAC’s approach is grounded in an understanding of the challenges that the discharged veteran faces and the importance of reconnecting them to other veterans,
reintegrating them into society and ultimately retraining them for purposeful and meaningful employment.

SMEAC wants to establish the Headquarters of Australia’s first Veteran Transition Facility (VTF) located near Landsborough on the Sunshine Coast to provide veterans with the best opportunity to transition from defence.
SMEAC and CHPQ are committed to ending homelessness among veterans.

SMEAC wants to achieve this by:
• Conducting coordinated outreach to proactively seek out veterans in need of assistance.
• Connecting homeless and at-risk veterans with housing solutions, health care, community employment services and other required supports.
• Collaborating with federal, state, and local government; housing providers, and community not for profits and others to expand employment and affordable housing options for veterans exiting homelessness.

Tim stated that veterans are more likely than civilians to experience homelessness, and they want to talk with other veterans about the struggles they face. Tim emphasised that veterans are at a significantly increased risk of homelessness if they have low socioeconomic status, a mental health
disorder, and/or a history of substance abuse. He also went on to say that because of veterans’ military service, this population is at higher risk of experiencing traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), both of which have been found to be among the most
substantial risk factors for homelessness.

The Council to Homeless Persons Queensland is proud to be a part of this initiative and will be strongly advocating for SMEAC to lead the Veteran Homeless Support Program. SMEAC also will pay special attention to those veterans and youth, who have found themselves, often through no fault of
their own, marginalised from society, fallen through the cracks, caught up using alcohol or illicit substances or interacting with the justice and youth justice systems.

For further information contact:

Stephen Simpson-

Tim Cuming –