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Goal: 35,000 Progress: 6,121
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

Nov 18, 2017 Michelle Blackley
Nov 15, 2017 Patti Wyatt
Nov 15, 2017 Gail Hanford
Nov 14, 2017 Karen and Will Lozow Cleary
Nov 13, 2017 P Garbett
Nov 12, 2017 Susan Fisher
Nov 12, 2017 DayLynn McDonald
Nov 11, 2017 CaSandra Alberty
Nov 11, 2017 Octavia DeLaGarza
Nov 10, 2017 Vianney Ventura
Nov 10, 2017 cara frame
Nov 8, 2017 Beah Robinson
Nov 8, 2017 Karrie Vukelic
Nov 6, 2017 Joy Lee
Nov 4, 2017 GENE NATALE
Oct 31, 2017 Frances Rader
Oct 30, 2017 Peggy Van Sickle We need to do everything that we can to help and support our veterans. If this particular program has a 91% success rate then we should copy its methods.
Oct 30, 2017 Christine McNulty
Oct 30, 2017 Margaret Brown
Oct 30, 2017 Barbara gale
Oct 30, 2017 Sara Garcia
Oct 29, 2017 Ella McRae
Oct 28, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 28, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 28, 2017 Tammy Luppino
Oct 25, 2017 Kimberly Wallace
Oct 20, 2017 florentina puett If the Government can find funding for refugees and on welfare, why ignore the needs of our Veterans?
Oct 16, 2017 Eva Sandhammar
Oct 15, 2017 Carol Howard It is evil that this country has any Veterans on the streets. they all deserve homes. I am sickened and appalled. So is God. He is telling us every day. look around. Carol Howard
Oct 15, 2017 Dawn McBee
Oct 15, 2017 Deborah Moore
Oct 12, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 3, 2017 Nancy Powell
Oct 3, 2017 Bettyann Reed
Oct 3, 2017 Eva Catania
Oct 3, 2017 clarence cooley
Oct 2, 2017 Anna Krohn
Oct 2, 2017 Jeryl Roller
Oct 1, 2017 Philip Cline
Oct 1, 2017 Margaret Pravic
Oct 1, 2017 Jenifer Webb
Sep 29, 2017 Luciano Bitencourt
Sep 29, 2017 Caroline B. Pinheiro
Sep 29, 2017 Raquel Nakaza
Sep 29, 2017 Alsira de Lima Guedes
Sep 29, 2017 Barbara Guedes
Sep 29, 2017 Berenice Guedes de Sá
Sep 29, 2017 Conni Fialkowski
Sep 29, 2017 Teresa Byrd This is an example we need EVERY STATE AND CITY IN THE U.S. to follow! There is no excuse -- funding is there if one chooses right over greed.
Sep 29, 2017 Pamela Britton This country does not do near enough for our vets.

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