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Goal: 35,000 Progress: 5,955
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

Jun 27, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jun 22, 2017 Victoria Barajas
Jun 20, 2017 Jeanine Smegal
Jun 19, 2017 sarah stevens
Jun 14, 2017 Stan Hubbard
Jun 14, 2017 Denise Kastner
Jun 13, 2017 Virginia Ilardi
Jun 11, 2017 ron smith
Jun 11, 2017 Amanda Barnes
Jun 11, 2017 Patrina Van Sky
Jun 10, 2017 T H
Jun 10, 2017 Carol Baker
Jun 10, 2017 Judit Deák
Jun 10, 2017 Mary Bost
Jun 10, 2017 Sharon Ann Ridings
Jun 10, 2017 Carol Doud
Jun 9, 2017 Beth Smith
Jun 9, 2017 James Deschene
Jun 8, 2017 joan aarstad
Jun 8, 2017 Rose M Fagan
Jun 8, 2017 Theresa Todd
Jun 8, 2017 (Name not displayed) Minnesota seems to be getting better by refurbishing the old Fort Snelling houses etc but more needs to be done as quickly as possible.
Jun 8, 2017 Michael Furia
Jun 8, 2017 Jane Harrison They served our Country to uphold are Freedom & it is a crime for us to even have 1 Homeless Veteran in the USA..... we must now serve them!!!!!
Jun 8, 2017 ruth kern
Jun 7, 2017 Tanya Bush
Jun 5, 2017 Roxann Carmean Floyd
Jun 5, 2017 Jan Adler
Jun 5, 2017 Melba Coker
Jun 5, 2017 Kristine Polese I think it is disgraceful how this country opens it's arm to ILLEGAL immigrants and offer them our benefits and services, but doesn't offer the same asssistants to thosse who bravely fought and sacrificed for this country. They deserve better.
Jun 4, 2017 Maggie Alk
Jun 4, 2017 Charlie Para
Jun 4, 2017 Steven Schueller
Jun 3, 2017 Denis Cole
Jun 2, 2017 April Bowers We, all of us, owe these people so much. It is a sin & a disgrace we allow this to go on!
Jun 2, 2017 Ellen Holsten
Jun 2, 2017 Yvonne Jewell
Jun 2, 2017 Nancy Rooney
Jun 1, 2017 Jean Eskridge They sacrificed and served our country and we need to be there for them. We owe it to them. It is up to us to help them now.
Jun 1, 2017 Lawrence Short
Jun 1, 2017 Patricia Zeoli
Jun 1, 2017 Tammy Haller
May 31, 2017 mary peplinski
May 31, 2017 Alicia Bynum
May 31, 2017 Holly Bell
May 31, 2017 Deborah Bratcher
May 31, 2017 Dawn Bowers
May 30, 2017 Lisa Sommer
May 30, 2017 Janet Pickard
May 30, 2017 Lynda Kerr

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