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Goal: 35,000 Progress: 6,743
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

Jul 19, 2018 Indee Brooke
Jul 16, 2018 Julie Zack
Jul 15, 2018 Cara Gregory
Jul 15, 2018 Mixon Eugenia
Jul 15, 2018 Richard Pontious
Jul 15, 2018 Arlette SIMON
Jul 15, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jul 10, 2018 Marion Osborn It's way past time to allow veterans to use local medical facilities and have the VA pay the bill! My late M.D. husband worked in some VA's and was disgusted by the bureaucracy and poor care he witnessed!
Jul 10, 2018 Fran Lowell they stood up to serve now its our turn
Jul 10, 2018 Wayne kemp
Jul 9, 2018 Barbara Charron
Jul 9, 2018 Terrence McKelvey
Jul 8, 2018 Teresa Kemp
Jul 7, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jul 6, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jul 6, 2018 Rita Campos
Jul 6, 2018 Michael Crowden
Jul 5, 2018 Marie Sepeta They've given to their country, so why can't their country give back to them?
Jul 5, 2018 Thelma J. Glass As a USAF Veteran I say Veterans First!
Jul 5, 2018 Franklin Knox
Jul 4, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jul 4, 2018 Michele Busler
Jul 4, 2018 Maria Cardenas
Jul 4, 2018 Judi Putnam
Jul 4, 2018 Wanda Chochol
Jul 4, 2018 Melissa Barnard
Jul 2, 2018 Michelle Dumar
Jun 27, 2018 Beverly Rector
Jun 18, 2018 Bridget Hopper
Jun 16, 2018 kathy Patton
Jun 14, 2018 Diana Dee
Jun 14, 2018 John Dalla
Jun 14, 2018 Bob Thomas
Jun 14, 2018 Donna Ventola
Jun 14, 2018 Maria Flores
Jun 14, 2018 Christina Edwards
Jun 12, 2018 Deborah Ward What is wrong with our world today. Quit giving our resources away to foreigners both in other countries and here in the US and help the veterans that have spent their lives being let down by their own country!
Jun 12, 2018 Claudia Svoboda
Jun 11, 2018 Linda Wiltshire
Jun 11, 2018 Dawn Olsen
Jun 7, 2018 Harry Neyer
Jun 6, 2018 Robert Furem
Jun 4, 2018 Carl O Connor
Jun 1, 2018 Sheila Parks
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.

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