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Goal: 35,000 Progress: 6,586
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

Feb 24, 2018 Catherine Argyle
Feb 24, 2018 Kathryn Fenn
Feb 24, 2018 Kirsten Paap
Feb 24, 2018 Kathryn Gallagher
Feb 24, 2018 Sandra Cobb
Feb 14, 2018 Krissttina Isobe Can you make it possible, for all Veterans to have medical help and homes to get them off the streets. It is important for all Americans to have homes and food with medical care...this too is for Veterans. Please help Veterans! Thanks.
Feb 13, 2018 Rilla Heslin
Feb 13, 2018 Bonnie Svec
Feb 12, 2018 Loraine Lindsey
Feb 12, 2018 Martha Kubik
Feb 9, 2018 bobbette bross
Feb 9, 2018 Janis Ciofalo
Feb 8, 2018 Betty Kowall
Feb 8, 2018 Patricia Grimes
Feb 8, 2018 Edward Deutch
Feb 8, 2018 Mary Sier
Feb 8, 2018 john adams
Feb 7, 2018 Ruth Rogers
Feb 5, 2018 Guicin Madalina
Feb 4, 2018 Sandra Richards
Feb 4, 2018 miriam feehily
Feb 4, 2018 George Anderson
Feb 2, 2018 Joseph Braus
Feb 1, 2018 Helena Marková
Feb 1, 2018 Antje S-K
Feb 1, 2018 Brent Sirois
Feb 1, 2018 Chriss Wood
Feb 1, 2018 Sieglinda Preez
Feb 1, 2018 Cheyenne Aranello
Feb 1, 2018 Joanne Millum
Feb 1, 2018 Laurieq Aman
Feb 1, 2018 Jean Sunderland
Feb 1, 2018 karla price
Feb 1, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 1, 2018 Margaret Sexauer
Feb 1, 2018 Liz Scherbak
Feb 1, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 1, 2018 cheri dougherty
Feb 1, 2018 Jeanne Rothwarf
Feb 1, 2018 Brian Betz
Feb 1, 2018 Yolanda Estrada
Feb 1, 2018 John W. Rumery jr These people aren't 'throw' aways, they are keeping you free!
Feb 1, 2018 Paige Garberding Our veterans deserve better!
Feb 1, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 1, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 1, 2018 B Mastoras
Feb 1, 2018 M.M. Jacobs
Feb 1, 2018 chris dickinson
Feb 1, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 1, 2018 Pamela DelPadre-Mahon

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