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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 August 2007, 01:20 GMT 02:20 UK
Warning on ex-services homeless
Homeless person
The Ministry of Defence says it is not complacent about the issue
One in 10 homeless people in the UK are former members of the armed forces, a charity working with veterans says.

A survey in 1997 by the Ex-Service Action Group on Homelessness suggested that 22% of people who were "street homeless" had a military background.

Veterans charity, the Sir Oswald Stoll Foundation, said that efforts by the government and the voluntary sector had brought that down to about 10%.

It fears the numbers may rise because of service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The BBC has also done its own research on the subject, contacting every day centre in the UK.

Eight out of 10 of those that replied confirmed they had clients who had once been in the forces.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) insists it is not complacent about the issue and has a UK-wide network of resettlement centres.

Everyone about to leave the service goes through an interview to assess their needs, it added.

In 2003, Prince Charles called for more help to be made available for veterans after they leave the armed forces.

Speaking after he had met former soldiers at a day centre in east London, he said no ex-servicemen or women should be homeless because they had "served our country to protect the freedom which we so often take for granted".


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