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Goal: 35,000 Progress: 5,746
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

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!
Mar 17, 2017 Holly Dixon
Mar 17, 2017 Tod Stewart
Mar 17, 2017 Kimberly Rossi
Mar 17, 2017 audrey pearman
Mar 17, 2017 Joy Smiley
Mar 16, 2017 Debbie Cieplinski
Mar 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 15, 2017 Weldon Barker
Mar 15, 2017 Jean Broyles
Mar 14, 2017 antonio calbetó
Mar 13, 2017 Maxann Kasdan
Mar 13, 2017 Lesley Forrester
Mar 13, 2017 Linda Searcy
Mar 13, 2017 Lynn Lindsay No veteran should be homeless! They put everything on the line for us - we can never repay the debt we owe to them, but the LEAST we owe them is a roof over their heads!!
Mar 13, 2017 lance bowling
Mar 13, 2017 Farrah Sutton No vet should be homeless.For all they did for their country.They deserve the best.
Mar 12, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 12, 2017 Vickie Herdman
Mar 11, 2017 Corey Williams
Mar 10, 2017 Debbie Luchka
Mar 10, 2017 Margaret Konze
Mar 9, 2017 Deborah Lombardi
Mar 9, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 8, 2017 Michael & Brenda Old Turtle As veterans, we have seen the VA turn a good idea away, just because it wasn't the VA's idea. Look what they have done with service dogs. Ours have to be approved by each VA facility, against the ADA.
Mar 8, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 7, 2017 Jill Kreiner-Smith
Mar 7, 2017 Maryanne Budetti
Mar 6, 2017 Judy Paul

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