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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 November 2007, 15:32 GMT
Veterans 'quarter of US homeless'
A homeless Vietnam veteran in Philadelphia, in the US
The report calls for more support for military veterans
One in four homeless people in the US is a military veteran, even though veterans make up only 11% of the adult population, a report has found.

The National Alliance to End Homelessness said that on any given night in 2006, some 194,254 out of 744,313 homeless people were veterans.

The non-profit group called the figures "shockingly disproportionate".

In its report, the group also said that 495,400 veterans were homeless at some point in 2006.

The report, Vital Mission: Ending Homelessness Among Veterans, said that veterans made up 26% of the homeless population.

In addition, 44,000-64,000 veterans were chronically homeless, and just under 500,000 veterans were "at a high risk" of homelessness.

The findings are based on figures from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Census Bureau.

'Enormous toll'

The group recommended the creation of more supported housing places for veterans, and called on the government to establish a risk assessment process for the first 30 days of a soldier's discharge.

"It is our responsibility as a nation to support those who have served our country by, at a minimum, providing them with the stable housing and necessary supports to avoid homelessness," the alliance's president, Nan Roman, said.

Some advocates have also expressed concerns about the presence of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan at shelters, so soon after they have returned from the conflict.

"We're going to be having a tsunami of them eventually because the mental health toll from this war is enormous," Daniel Tooth, director of veterans affairs for Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, told the Associated Press news agency.

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