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Goal: 35,000 Progress: 5,498
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.


Petition Signatures

Feb 26, 2017 Patty Armstrong
Feb 26, 2017 S. Lazer
Feb 26, 2017 Fernanda Coelho
Feb 26, 2017 J M This is one reason why they shouldn't let any more immigrants into the USA. There has to be a solution. There is no way that these Veterans should be living on the streets. They could set up Shopping malls after hours
Feb 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 25, 2017 Kelsey Brewer
Feb 25, 2017 Kim Randolph
Feb 22, 2017 (Name not displayed) God help these veterans they gave their life and limb to keep our country safe... .. Help them... ...
Feb 21, 2017 k v
Feb 21, 2017 karen themelis
Feb 21, 2017 Susan Martin
Feb 20, 2017 Dee Ann Neely
Feb 19, 2017 Susan Ellis
Feb 19, 2017 Tracy Davis
Feb 17, 2017 Brian Le Flem
Feb 17, 2017 michalla sutton
Feb 16, 2017 M Kent
Feb 16, 2017 Lauren Stone
Feb 15, 2017 Karen Fitch
Feb 15, 2017 Felipe Menossi
Feb 15, 2017 Leslie Williams
Feb 14, 2017 robert dowling
Feb 14, 2017 Lauren Mack
Feb 13, 2017 Kim munden
Feb 13, 2017 Sandra Jesionek
Feb 13, 2017 Kim Kensinger
Feb 13, 2017 Lucy Peden
Feb 13, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 13, 2017 Jackie Grey
Feb 13, 2017 Gloria Schmirler
Feb 13, 2017 Angela Gugel This has to stop! Our veterans should not be getting treated the way they are and I think that they should be entitled to free health care from the VA! Our government needs to step up and change the policies for our veterans that served for our country!
Feb 12, 2017 Merle Weyant
Feb 12, 2017 Michalla Sutton
Feb 12, 2017 Kristi Weber
Feb 11, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 11, 2017 (Name not displayed) We should never let this happen. Refugees over veteran. This is what we should be fighting for .
Feb 11, 2017 Shelley Kelley Take Action Now! It's time for America take care of the individuals that made our county the HOME OF THE FREE! They were the BRAVE while you slept in peace and enjoyed your FREEDOM. It Time America give them shelter food healthcare~Thank A Vet
Feb 10, 2017 susi holloway there are very few people who would choose to be homeless, if given the right help. not just vets deserve this kind of help. all homeless people should be helped to live better, safer lives.
Feb 10, 2017 Leslie Scott
Feb 10, 2017 Susan di Lusro
Feb 10, 2017 J MASSETTI
Feb 9, 2017 B H America and its people should do everything in our power to assist all the vets who served to secure our USA... for many it cost much and others it cost them everything. Vets who survived need to be cared for. Thanks to ALL who serve. God Bless.
Feb 9, 2017 carol keisner
Feb 9, 2017 Michelle Zabala It is our responsibility to take care of them. They fought for us. It's our turn now!!!
Feb 9, 2017 Patricia Rector We need to get all the Veterans off the street. They fought for us,it's time we give back to them.
Feb 8, 2017 (Name not displayed) Please give full support to all of our Veterans.
Feb 8, 2017 R. Denis Cole
Feb 8, 2017 Kandi Hipes

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