22/01/2004

Plight of homeless ex-servicemen highlighted

A report into the issue of homelessness amongst ex-servicemen has found that "significant progress" has been made.

The report, '5 Years of Action', by the Ex-Service Action Group on homelessness and which is to be published tomorrow, outlined several initiatives that have been developed between the Ex-Service Action Group on Homelessness (ESAG) and the MoD, as well as with a number of other Government and charitable organisations.

Initiatives include the development of a resettlement package for vulnerable individuals, improvements to resettlement services and housing advice, establishment of accommodation centres and provision of training and employment opportunities.

As part of these improvements, the MoD will on 1 April 2004 introduce a new Early Service Leavers Policy that will ensure that all early service leavers receive a mandatory brief and interview on housing.

The ESAG report, funded by the MoD, also outlined plans for future initiatives and further research.

A second edition of the advisory booklet, 'Resources for Homeless Ex-Service Personnel in London', will also be published tomorrow.

Launching the report and booklet, Veterans' Minister, Ivor Caplin, said that the MoD would "continue to play its part in this important partnership".

Rick Brunwin, Chairman of the Ex-Service Action Group, said: "ESAG is confident that this partnership approach has established the framework to ensure that current efforts are sustained and newly identified areas will be tackled in the future."

(gmcg)

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