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Goal: 35,000 Progress: 6,674
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

Apr 18, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 17, 2018 Pamela Dugan
Apr 17, 2018 Norma Sutcliffe
Apr 17, 2018 Mary jackson
Apr 17, 2018 Ed Zehel
Apr 17, 2018 Maxine DeBellis
Apr 16, 2018 Peter C Krebs
Apr 16, 2018 Patti Bailley
Apr 16, 2018 SUSAN BAILEY
Apr 16, 2018 Phyllis s
Apr 15, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 15, 2018 Anita Hoos
Apr 14, 2018 Joan Kelly
Apr 14, 2018 L Dufresne NOW!
Apr 14, 2018 tammy bullock
Apr 14, 2018 george lewis
Apr 14, 2018 (Name not displayed) No veteran should be treated like they are.
Apr 14, 2018 John and Robbie Wertin
Apr 14, 2018 Beau Ryba
Apr 14, 2018 Kathleen Sanders
Apr 14, 2018 Gloria Tripp
Apr 14, 2018 Lorri Redmon After all they've done for us why are they in the streets? At the very least provide homes for the ones who gave us so much!
Apr 13, 2018 Lisa Ackroyd
Apr 13, 2018 Rory Ackroyd
Apr 13, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 13, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 12, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 12, 2018 Christine Maidl
Apr 12, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 12, 2018 Janet Smith
Apr 11, 2018 Marion Subjenski
Apr 11, 2018 linda magyar
Apr 8, 2018 c. martinez
Apr 7, 2018 Lisa vasta
Apr 6, 2018 thomas friedman
Mar 25, 2018 Sandra Bigart
Mar 25, 2018 Jean Cherpak
Mar 24, 2018 Jodi Abel
Mar 24, 2018 Thearle Lacey
Mar 24, 2018 Richard Rheder
Mar 23, 2018 Jane Rigney
Mar 22, 2018 cheryl pettke
Mar 14, 2018 K Cherry
Mar 13, 2018 yip yuen
Mar 13, 2018 Christy Starbuck
Mar 13, 2018 Joan Turpin Sometimes Utah gets it right and this is one of those times. This idea can be applied to vets across the country and should be looked into at the least and implemented once it has been shown to be effective.
Mar 13, 2018 Mary Wilson
Mar 13, 2018 Jeanette Taylor
Mar 13, 2018 CAROL BECK
Mar 13, 2018 Robert New

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