Pledge To Help Our Heroes and Support Veterans in Need

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Sponsor: The Veterans Site

American veterans have sacrificed and risked everything to protect our freedoms. We cannot let them go forgotten on the streets. Take the pledge and Help our Heroes!

American veterans have sacrificed and risked everything for our freedoms. They have been separated from their friends and families and placed in hostile situations, where injury or death is a very real possibility. In spite of this, tens of thousands of veterans languish on the streets1.

At least 11% of the adult homeless population involves American veterans, about 40,000 individuals, and many struggle with substance abuse, mental health issues like PTSD and other forms of mental illness, or they have co-occurring disorders2.

More than 67% of the homeless vet population served in our military for at least three consecutive years. Around 33% of these veterans were stationed in a location inside a war zone. Homeless veterans in the USA have served in a variety of wars and foreign tours, but approximately half of all US veterans who are homeless served in the Vietnam War3.

As winter approaches, veterans experiencing homelessness and their beloved pets lack essential supplies for warmth and comfort4.

There are a number of obstacles involved in helping homeless veterans find housing.

Most homeless shelters do not allow pets5. On any given night, veterans without homes are forced to choose between staying with their pets and facing the dangers of existing outside, or checking into a shelter and abandoning the only family they know.

The security of basic comfort items and nutritious meals can help bridge the gap for our veterans and their pets as they seek to secure permanent housing6.

There are also community and Department of Veterans Affairs resources that you can connect to veterans who are facing housing or employment instability7.

Take the Help our Heroes Pledge and connect these resources to the veterans in your community who need it most!

More on this issue:

  1. Lifeline For Vets (22 December 2015), "Helping Homeless Veterans by Giving Back to Those Who Sacrificed."
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (July 2011), "Current Statistics on the Prevalence and Characteristics of People Experiencing Homelessness in the United States."
  3. National Coalition for the Homeless (September 2009), "Homeless Veterans."
  4. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (23 November 2021), "VA Homeless Programs."
  5. ShelterList (25 April 2016), "Pet Friendly Homeless Shelters."
  6. Leanna Parekh, World Vision (28 June 2022), "The basics of food security (and how it’s tied to everything)."
  7. American Legion (2022), "Homeless Veterans Help."
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The Pledge:

I understand that at least 11% of the adult homeless population involves American veterans, and that nearly 40,000 veterans experiencing homelessness and their beloved pets lack essential supplies for warmth and comfort.

I acknowledge that our veterans that have bravely and selflessly served this great nation, and consider it unjustifiable that so many are now suffering in the streets, trapped in a perpetual cycle of pain and indignity.

These heroes deserve better lives. They have served us, and it's time we serve them. As such, I pledge to advocate for programs that help veterans in my own community.

  • By supporting Greater Good Charities efforts to provide food and comfort items to veterans experiencing homelessness in areas with high veteran poverty populations. Good Packs include basic survival supplies in functional backpacks to veterans in crisis. These supplies for people and pets include blankets, clothing, reusable water bottles, basic hygiene products, pet food and treats, toys, slip leads and collapsible food/water dishes.
  • By connecting veterans in need with with my regional American Legion Homeless Veterans Task Force chairperson and an Employment chairperson who are capable of providing assistance to any homeless or financially destitute veteran who contacts them.
  • And by connecting veterans in need with the VA's resources for veterans who are facing housing instability, including:
    • the National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans (NCHAV), established in 2009, works to promote recovery-oriented care for Veterans who are homeless or at risk for homelessness by developing and disseminating evidence-based policies, programs, and best practices.
    • Homeless Patient Aligned Care Teams, which provide homeless Veterans with comprehensive, individualized care, including services that lead to permanent housing.
    • The Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans program, which has provided medical services to disadvantaged Veterans since the close of the Civil War.
    • VA's Health Care for Homeless Veterans program, which offers examinations treatment, referrals, and case management services to homeless Veterans at more than 135 locations.
    • And the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans (1-877-4AID-VET) which is staffed by trained responders providing support and resources to Veterans and their families who lack secure housing.

I further pledge to help our heroes by sharing what I know about the challenges homeless veterans face with my friends and loved ones online and off.

Pledged by,

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