Veteran homeless stats ‘a national disgrace’

NEW RESEARCH shows thousands of Australian ex-service personnel are battling homelessness.

The University of NSW report showed 5800 ex-servicemen and women had been homeless over a 12-month period, due to factors including poverty, substance abuse and mental health problems.

The finding has prompted Member for Blair Shayne Neumann to call for urgent intervention from the Federal Government on the issue.

The report also identified factors specific to veterans, including relationship breakdowns, being medically discharged from the Australian Defence Force and being unemployed for more than three months after leaving the ADF.

"It's a national disgrace that so many people who have risked their lives for our country are homeless," Mr Neumann said.

"We have a special obligation to support our veterans and help them put a roof over their heads.

"Australians would be shocked at the number of people who march on Anzac Day and sleep in the same street that night."

While mainstream homelessness services may be able to help those experiencing short-term homelessness, the study found chronically homeless veterans needed tailored policies and services around permanent and supported accommodation.

RSL Queensland has reported a 26 per cent increase in demand for their veteran homelessness program year on year.



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