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Goal: 35,000 Progress: 6,285
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

Dec 12, 2017 Lisa Klein
Dec 12, 2017 Tanya Hernandez
Dec 11, 2017 Julie Martin
Dec 11, 2017 Susana Bidart
Dec 11, 2017 Paulette Zimmerman
Dec 11, 2017 Debbie Smith
Dec 11, 2017 A Martin
Dec 11, 2017 Michelle Giordano
Dec 11, 2017 Saliha BELKHIR
Dec 10, 2017 George Lutz
Dec 10, 2017 Diane Berliner
Dec 10, 2017 KAY M
Dec 10, 2017 Jennifer McDaniel
Dec 10, 2017 Iryna Andreychuk
Dec 10, 2017 Tara Warfield
Dec 10, 2017 Dina Martins
Dec 9, 2017 Evelyn Peterson
Dec 9, 2017 Nicole Kelley
Dec 9, 2017 Marilia Calafiori
Dec 9, 2017 Deborah OHara This program needs to be in effect in every state.
Dec 9, 2017 Alena Ikina
Dec 8, 2017 Julaine Morley
Dec 8, 2017 K. D.
Dec 8, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Dec 8, 2017 lynn Brown
Dec 8, 2017 Andrea Snyder
Dec 8, 2017 Wendy Worth
Dec 8, 2017 Tina Tine'
Dec 8, 2017 Jocelyn Lequier-Jobin
Dec 8, 2017 Renato Volo
Dec 8, 2017 Chloé Espinasse
Dec 8, 2017 Daniela Renni
Dec 8, 2017 Juanita Leone
Dec 8, 2017 Heinz-Helmut Umbreit
Dec 8, 2017 Justin LeGrow
Dec 8, 2017 Dawn Cumings
Dec 8, 2017 Artem Vyzhenko
Dec 8, 2017 Kristen Rangel
Dec 8, 2017 Ronald Hammersley
Dec 8, 2017 Julie Flores
Dec 8, 2017 Isabelle Larmour
Dec 8, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Dec 8, 2017 Lily Kazantzi
Dec 8, 2017 Roberta R Czarnecki
Dec 8, 2017 S G
Dec 7, 2017 Zoe Spiropoulou
Dec 7, 2017 Linda Wilson
Dec 7, 2017 Daniela Rossi
Dec 7, 2017 Diane Boulais

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