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Goal: 35,000 Progress: 5,774
Sponsored by: The Veterans Site

One homeless veteran is too many, especially when the solutions to veteran homelessness have been demonstrated with a resounding effect in communities across the country.

The Housing First program in Utah, providing clients vital services and utilities for a cost of either 30 percent of income or up to $50 a month, helped decrease the state's chronically homeless population by 91 percent, from around 2,000 people in 2005, to under 200 today, as reported by NPR.

The State of Utah has a few factors playing out in its favor, including a small population and the full support of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but that's not to say the Housing First Program could not be replicated to great success in other states.

Despite promises to end veteran homelessness, the government has fallen far short of its goal. Furthermore, the associated costs of chronic homelessness--incarceration, hospital visits, and detox programs--are estimated by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to be much more than just the cost of a home.

According to a report by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, "Without connections to the right types of care, they cycle in and out of hospital emergency departments and inpatient beds, detox programs, jails, prisons, and psychiatric institutions—all at high public expense. Some studies have found that leaving a person to remain chronically homeless costs taxpayers as much as $30,000 to $50,000 per year."

If it costs us more to leave homeless people on the streets, why isn't more being done?

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has the power to replicate effective solutions like Utah's Housing First program in cities across the country. By coordinating communication between VA hospitals, local homeless shelters, and local Housing First administrators, the programs could be tailored to work within each community's existing framework, finding veterans safe and secure homes quickly and with compassion.

Sign below to urge the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs to increase funding and implementation of these programs.

Sign Here






To the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs,

Many of the veterans that have so bravely and selflessly served this great nation are now suffering in the streets, without homes, trapped in a perpetual cycle of pain and indignity.

These numbers are unjustifiable, and the added costs of chronic homelessness, including emergency room bills, detox programs, and incarceration, will continue to drive us deeper into debt than it would if we simply housed these people.

Secretary, I implore you to look to the successes of the Housing First program in Utah as a model to use in other communities where veteran homelessness is an issue. Housing First effectively decreased Utah's chronic homeless population by 91 percent, and as a country that supports its veterans, we have no excuse not to try it in other communities.

President Barack Obama and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki pledged in 2009 to end veteran homelessness by 2015. That goal has obviously not been met.

These men and women deserve better lives. They have served us, and it's time we serve them.

Sincerely,

Petition Signatures


Apr 21, 2017 josé Dias
Apr 17, 2017 KAREN WASSING
Apr 16, 2017 Patricia Poole
Apr 16, 2017 Tonya Green-Stevenson
Apr 16, 2017 Melanie Pietersen
Apr 15, 2017 sheena welch
Apr 11, 2017 Laura Vanesa García
Apr 11, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 11, 2017 Vicki Hall
Apr 10, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 10, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 10, 2017 Ed Askins
Apr 10, 2017 Karen Deckel
Apr 9, 2017 R Belkin
Apr 9, 2017 cheryl ann burns
Apr 9, 2017 Dianne Doochin
Apr 9, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 8, 2017 Aurora Barabancea
Apr 7, 2017 Stephanie Linam It is absolutely horrible how the great USA treats it's Veterans with such little regard and care after they gave so much of themselves to protect and serve. Shameful.
Apr 5, 2017 Emily Ettinger
Apr 2, 2017 Jennifer Banta
Mar 28, 2017 Ms. Carla Compton, Activist/Advocate/Human
Mar 28, 2017 Charles Muehlhof
Mar 28, 2017 Adelina Jaudal
Mar 27, 2017 Stephen Moyer
Mar 27, 2017 Martha Williams
Mar 27, 2017 Sharon Davis
Mar 27, 2017 Susan Fisher
Mar 24, 2017 Dorothy Milligan
Mar 22, 2017 Lizmarie Ortiz Quinones VA: Please address our soldiers' issues. Why are you slacking at the job??? Your lack of responsibility towards our brave men and women in uniform hurts all of us. God bless!, Lizmarie Ortiz Quinones
Mar 21, 2017 s s
Mar 21, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 21, 2017 Amy Kite Please help our veterans, they were there when we needed them!
Mar 21, 2017 Sandy Bagley
Mar 20, 2017 Wayne Swiers
Mar 20, 2017 Wayne Miller
Mar 20, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 20, 2017 Bonnie Forry
Mar 19, 2017 Barbara MacDougall
Mar 19, 2017 kellyann morander
Mar 19, 2017 Amber Lopez
Mar 19, 2017 jen Mathesin
Mar 19, 2017 Lynne Grissett
Mar 19, 2017 sarah morelli
Mar 19, 2017 Sibrina Russell
Mar 18, 2017 Lisa Briggs
Mar 18, 2017 Chicory James
Mar 17, 2017 Paola DeCastro
Mar 17, 2017 kim wilbur
Mar 17, 2017 Marjorie Coey No vet should be hungry or homeless...for shame!

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