Target: Eric K. Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Goal: Thank the Department of Veterans Affairs for reversing budget cuts that would have harmed homeless vets
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has thankfully reversed a budget policy that would have left several thousand homeless veterans hanging. In recent months, financial assistance had been withdrawn from a large group of homeless veterans who were less than honorably discharged. After public outrage from community leaders and activists, the VA has reversed this policy and reinstated funding for homeless veterans who were not honorably discharged. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki listened to the demands of community support groups and responded appropriately by restoring funding. Thank him for his efforts and encourage him to continue serving all veterans today.
The assistance package that was temporarily cut was considered highly effective by community organizers and nonprofit organizations that work with the homeless, according to USA Today. The program allots money from the Department of Veterans Affairs to local charities that use the funds to provide monetary support and transitional living for homeless veterans. This program goes a long way toward ending the condition of homelessness among veterans, that President Obama has called, “morally wrong.”
Veterans who were dishonorably discharged are often ineligible for healthcare provided by the VA. The agency’s lawyers decided that this ineligibility for health care also made dishonorably discharged veterans ineligible for homelessness assistance. Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., called the decision, “federal bureaucracy at its most heartless,” when speaking to USA Today. Countless activists and advocates wrote, called, and emailed the VA demanding a change. Their demands were heard and the VA decided to reverse its new policy.
All homeless veterans deserve a hand up, regardless of past mistakes or current standing within the military. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, was right to listen to the public’s pleadings regarding this important issue. Thank him for his work today.
Dear Secretary Shinseki,
All veterans deserve a helping hand when they have fallen on hard times. This includes veterans who were not discharged with full honor. Funding for programs for homeless veterans must be extended to all veterans. Thank you for listening to the requests of non-profit organizations and reinstating this funding to homeless veterans who were not honorably discharged.
I am writing to you today to thank you for resolving this issue and to urge you to continue to work to end the scourge of homelessness among veterans.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Matthew Woitunski via wikimedia commons.