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Goal: 35,000 Progress: 6,699
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

May 22, 2018 Aliyah Khan
May 19, 2018 Donna Selquist
May 19, 2018 Elaine Dunn
May 9, 2018 Lynne Minore
May 8, 2018 suzanne caruso
May 8, 2018 Sandra Knapp It is a blot on American government that they do not/cannot care for their servicemen and women.
May 8, 2018 Paula Keenum
May 7, 2018 Krisin Conrad
May 7, 2018 Carolyn Turner
May 5, 2018 John Cooper
May 5, 2018 Margaret Dominguez These men & women gave up everything so we could live a life of freedom ! Why is this even an issue ? HELP THEM !
May 4, 2018 Christie Rawls
May 4, 2018 Carole Kubik
May 4, 2018 Bonnie Steiger
May 4, 2018 Alan Dion
May 4, 2018 Laura Page Yes please support our US veterans. Thank you.
May 4, 2018 Rose Pavia Please help them.
May 3, 2018 Rob Dexter
May 3, 2018 Melinda Shaw They’ve served and sacrificed. How can this country ignore their plight? This is the richest country on earth, there’s no excuse!
May 3, 2018 Thom & Diane Danfield The cost of properly caring for our veterans is very meager compared to ridiculous political stunts like the Mexico/U.S. Border Wall, et al. It is time to right this wrong; stop playing political games with the resources of our country, e.g. our vets!!!
May 2, 2018 Diane Kazimir
May 2, 2018 Patricia Gillespie
Apr 25, 2018 Sophie Benger
Apr 22, 2018 Ms. Jocelyn Valdez-Loqui
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)

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