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Goal: 35,000 Progress: 6,061
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

Sep 21, 2017 Kathleen Stephens
Sep 21, 2017 Cherilyn Fitzko
Sep 21, 2017 Richard Han
Sep 21, 2017 JoAnn Evans
Sep 16, 2017 Vanessa Montoya
Sep 15, 2017 Lois Freeman
Sep 15, 2017 Janet Magdaleno
Sep 15, 2017 Jen vonSchlieder
Sep 15, 2017 karen alesio
Sep 14, 2017 Sheila D
Sep 13, 2017 Denise Griffin
Sep 11, 2017 June Curley
Sep 5, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 5, 2017 Kathy Frey
Sep 5, 2017 Nedra Saathoff
Sep 5, 2017 Sandra Miller
Sep 4, 2017 Erika von Gierszewski
Sep 4, 2017 Amanda Zellers
Sep 4, 2017 BERTRAND Graziella
Sep 2, 2017 (Name not displayed) Many in my family have served and I am thankful to my knowledge none have suffered homelessness. It is time the VA stepped up and took care of those that have taken care of us! I don't have the answers but if this has worked then let's it everywhere!
Sep 2, 2017 E Pearson
Sep 1, 2017 Michele Barcelou
Aug 31, 2017 Candi Gaona
Aug 31, 2017 Jeffory Newkirk
Aug 30, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 30, 2017 hebe martorella
Aug 30, 2017 Dayle Brown Shame on the VA and the idiots in the government who have the good life thanks to our veterans. I'd impeach ll of them if I could.
Aug 24, 2017 Anne Romanow
Aug 24, 2017 Inês Correia
Aug 18, 2017 David Pascoe
Aug 16, 2017 Terry Lowe
Aug 15, 2017 Marlene Ernst These are the ones who put their lives on the line for us. To leave them like this is neglectful at best. Please find a way to give them all a home.
Aug 15, 2017 Steve Irwin
Aug 15, 2017 Kathleen O'Sullivan
Aug 14, 2017 Sandra Harris Our veterans should be one of the first people given housing! They've served our country and deserve better than what they're being given! Please remember them FIRST !
Aug 14, 2017 Diane Czar
Aug 13, 2017 Lynn Laupheimer
Aug 13, 2017 Janis Westendorf
Aug 11, 2017 Madeline Gregry
Aug 11, 2017 Roslyn Piegari
Aug 11, 2017 Dana Lloyd
Aug 11, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 11, 2017 Carol Huddlestun
Aug 11, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 10, 2017 Richard Laba
Aug 9, 2017 Kerry Boyd
Aug 9, 2017 Maria Smith
Aug 9, 2017 Maureen Finlon
Aug 9, 2017 Judith Mayhew
Aug 7, 2017 Dawn Shock

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