Allowing Taxpayers to Assist Homeless Veterans

Congressmen Introduce Homeless Veterans Assistance Fund Act

On April 4, 2017, Representatives Brad Schneider (D-IL), Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Ted Deutch (D-FL) introduced the “Homeless Veterans Assistance Fund Act of 2017,” a bipartisan bill designed to help homeless veterans.

No members of NJ Delegation are so-sponsors of the bill.

The bill provides an option for voluntary contributions to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) through a new “check-off box” on the annual federal tax return. The bill would make these funds available to the VA solely to provide services to homeless veterans.

These services include developing and implementing new and innovative strategies to end veteran homelessness in consultation with the Departments of Labor and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD.)

“On any night in America, nearly 40,000 veterans are without a home,” said Mr. Schneider. “It’s unconscionable that men and women who served our country, and may still bear the physical and mental scars of that service, are forced to live on the streets. Giving Americans the option to divert a portion of their tax refund to aid homeless veterans is a small, commonsense step to make it easier to give back to those who sacrificed for us.”

“A young American’s decision to serve in our Armed Forces should not lead them into poverty and homelessness,” said Mr. Deutch. “With this bill, the American people can help homeless veterans access the crucial services they need by donating directly to a fund overseen by Congress.”

The legislation would require the president’s annual budget request to outline proposed uses of the contributed funds. The legislation would also notify Congress of any expenditures of the funds with 60 days’ notice.

As background around the problem of homeless veterans, the National Alliance to End Homelessness has on its website an interactive map that shows the recent progress in ending veteran’s homelessness.

This interactive map identifies and provides details on the current state of veteran homelessness in the U.S. The map provides details on changes in the number of veterans experiencing homelessness in a community from 2011 to 2014, data on communities that have ended veteran homelessness, and details on the communities that received “surge” funding over the next three years under the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.

Both Bergen and Middlesex Counties have ended veterans homelessness.

Congressman Schneider’s Press Release

NAEH Interactive Map

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  1. Prison-like hell-hole shelters are not housing….