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Goal: 35,000 Progress: 5,216
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 a promise in 2009 from President Barack Obama and then VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to end veteran homelessness by 2015, the administration 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

Dear United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald,

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

Jan 18, 2017 steve marley
Jan 18, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 18, 2017 Sonia Messana
Jan 17, 2017 Jason Wood
Jan 17, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 17, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 17, 2017 Cindy-Lou Joyce
Jan 17, 2017 Davor Maznik
Jan 17, 2017 Sue Po
Jan 16, 2017 Serena Joyce
Jan 16, 2017 Marly Wexler
Jan 16, 2017 danielle jacques
Jan 16, 2017 Carmela Mazzariello
Jan 15, 2017 Celeste Lavacot Our service Veterans should be the last people to ever be homeless. They deserve more than they get. Please do whatever is possible to help them get the home and or care that is needed.
Jan 15, 2017 Diana Centro
Jan 15, 2017 Carl French
Jan 15, 2017 William Bridge
Jan 15, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 15, 2017 Joseph Olliges
Jan 15, 2017 shashawna foland
Jan 14, 2017 Gary Gibson
Jan 14, 2017 Karin Anderson It is such a shame the way our veterans are treated or rather MIS-treated. WHEN are you going to fix this??????????????????????????????????????
Jan 14, 2017 David Seppa To have a light but then not share it is dooming everyone to darkness.
Jan 14, 2017 Dewey Jackson
Jan 14, 2017 Betsy Farmer
Jan 14, 2017 Elaine Heathcoat
Jan 14, 2017 Sue Jackson
Jan 14, 2017 Susan Armistead, M.D.
Jan 14, 2017 Lori Nightingale
Jan 14, 2017 Milla Kherson
Jan 14, 2017 Ford Smith
Jan 14, 2017 Henry Mongrain
Jan 13, 2017 James Deep
Jan 13, 2017 Lynne Thomas No one who has served our country and made the ultimate sacrifice, should EVER have to face being HOMELESS!!!! This is a SHAMEFUL DISGRACE!!!!
Jan 13, 2017 anne marie anne marie benechet
Jan 13, 2017 Valerie Baksa-Cato
Jan 13, 2017 Michelle Graves
Jan 13, 2017 Mónica Geraldo
Jan 13, 2017 john pivirotto get your head in gear
Jan 13, 2017 Dana Barry
Jan 13, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 12, 2017 Rodolfo Conde
Jan 12, 2017 Isabel Hepburn
Jan 12, 2017 Gerri Sensenig Such a simple fix. Do it. They deserve this at the very least. Stop wasting my tax money, starting doing your job to help the veterans. They are the reason you are here today.
Jan 12, 2017 Gordon Grant
Jan 12, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 12, 2017 Barbara L. Bagby
Jan 12, 2017 Marta Vanech
Jan 12, 2017 joanne kuhner

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