Ex military and homelessness

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Recce19, Nov 8, 2007.

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  1. This time it's the Septics that are neglected:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7085081.stm for the full piece.

  2. I was sure there was something about British ex-forces homeless a while ago too.

    If I'm right it was around the same %.

    I could be wrong though, as long as the figure is lower, I am more than happy to be corrected.

    Really sad statistics...
  3. Impressive numbers, sad reality.
  4. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    I think its nearly 40% of homeless men between the ages of 40 and 60 here are ex forces.
  5. I'd be interested to know how many of these homeless CHOSE not to take advantage of the Veteran system in the US. There are some that prefer to remain homeless, which is different from being a vagrant. Choice or not, they would've been scooped up in the figures.

    The system for looking after and supporting the Veterans in the US is second to none (excuse the plagiarism there). The UK is so far behind, it would take literally decades to catch up, I can't quite bring myself to use the word 'will' since I'm not convinced it will ever happen.

    The figures also appear more dramatic due to sheer population size in comparison to us.

    Unlike here, there is genuine government support, funds and public support for military Veterans across the pond and granted some are going to slip through the net but not many unless by choice.
  6. Bugger, was hoping it was the other way...

    That's pretty staggering actually.
  7. I do wonder how much of ex-forces living rough is down to neglect and how much is down to pride. It is hard to go and ask for help when you have the values of self-reliance etc embedded into your way of thinking.

    "Bless em all."
  8. Rather more than we tend to think. I stopped to chat to a chap in the Vauxhall tunnel thingy by the underground who was ex forces (no, I'm not some do gooder and literally only stopped to talk because he looked like he needed a chat more than cash). His choice to be on the streets, he couldn't cope with rules, form filling and having to comply for people that he despised. He was having a very tough time but would rather being there than any other option.

    His responses did surprise me but then again, I'm a civvy with no real insiders' knowledge of how things work since I've not served but I do know that pride has a huge part to play and it is hard to settle back into civvy life and it's not suitable for everyone.
  9. .....read the same %, ...around 25% in the Uk. Didn't believe it at the time and still can't understand why...??? Worked with ex-drug addicts and other no hopers but must admit this has me beat. Any answers....anyone???
  10. This subject was discussed here last winter:

    The 40% suggested by BiscuitsAB is way off the mark.Even the highest figure from 1996 was 'only' 25% and things have improved since then.

    This was my post at the time:


    The link above should take you to the St Mungo's survey carried out in 2004.
    1,534 homeless people were surveyed and the stats for ex-forces are on page 9:
    3% were ex-forces
    64% of the ex-forces were alcoholics
    58% of the ex-forces had physical health problems

    Crisis have two documents available to download as pdf files Falling Out is from 1994 and Lest We Forget from 2000, both deal with the problem of homeless ex-forces:



    I would also like to point out that just as there are walts claiming medals they don't have there are also homeless walts thinking that they will get more money/sympathy from the public if they claim previous military service. Having worked with a homeless charity for more than 10 years I know this happens.

    Also, in my opinion someone who didn't even complete basic training is not in the same category as anyone who served as a trained soldier/sailor/airman. (That does not include MDs due to training accidents)
  11. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    Quite right, well said. The figures in the US are massively inflated by con-men trying to get themselves into veterans programmes.
  12. The fact that the figures are inflated is something at least.

    Suppose no matter what it's quite hard to quantify.
  13. As said a lot of ex forces who are on the street are there because they dont want to get treated unfairly by suits in council accomodation/offices treating them like second class citizens. I never give any money to homeless people on the street though as the majority of the time its going to go on booze etc but have given a cuppa and sandwich before. The other month however I walked past a bloke with a sign help an ex soldier out and heard him telling a couple of OAPs he hadnt eaten for a few days. I was going into McDonalds with the kids so on the way out gave him a coffee and burger and the sod said could i give him money instead. Obviously not that hungry then. :x
  14. What I would like to know is when do ex servicemen stop being called ex servicemen. Technically if I was on the streets now I'd be classed as such. I've been out since 1973. One thing I noticed (IIRC) is that it took me an age to settle to civvy street and I'm not sure had I not been married and had the wife and kids to think about whether I'd have settled or gone on the streets. One of the problems you encounter when you come out is that you don't feel the need for a settled existence because for years you didn't really have ahome just a succesion of billets. The alcoholism probably follows from the life style they adopt rather than the other way round.