100,000 veterans homeless on Rememberance Day, says charity

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The Independent Online

Homelessness charity Crisis today urged the nation to remember ex-servicemen who have ended up sleeping on the streets, not just those who died fighting for their country.

Homelessness charity Crisis today urged the nation to remember ex-servicemen who have ended up sleeping on the streets, not just those who died fighting for their country.

As Remembrance events got under way, the charity launched a report showing an estimated 100,000 ex-servicemen are homeless.

The study by the Institute for Public Policy Research called for existing local projects which help ex-servicemen to be extended nationwide.

In Yorkshire a project is already under way to help smooth the transition from Army to civilian life, and in London two charities are working together to help ex-servicemen with drink problems.

The report also called for an early warning system to be created to ensure senior officers take responsibility for supporting servicemen vulnerable to homelessness and linking them with employment and housing advice.

In addition it urged the Government to ensure that support agencies operating in isolation work together to provide an effective support network.

Crisis chief executive Shaks Ghosh said that emerging from years of service into civilian life was a shock for some servicepeople, some of whom had not previously needed to learn the skills to live independently, such as budgeting or cooking.

He said Britain had already let down one generation of ex-servicemen who defended this country and are now completely alone as they live out the rest of their lives and more needed to be done to prevent a younger generation of ex-servicemen from risking their lives out on the streets.

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