Target: Joshua Gonzales, Student Leader, University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy
Goal: Praise student group that volunteers to serve at funerals for deceased homeless veterans.
Homeless veterans who pass away will be buried with a final show of respect from students at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy. The students have started a program in which youth can volunteer to be pallbearers at their funerals. The program, which is meant to “help dignify and respect” late homeless veterans, had over 50 students attend its first training session. Applaud these students for their admirable actions.
Veterans in the U.S. suffer a much higher rate of homelessness than the general population. This can be caused by several factors, including disabilities, mental health issues, substance abuse, or poverty related to problems reintegrating into the civilian workforce after deployment. It is estimated that there are over 60,000 homeless veterans in the United States, making up 12 percent of the total homeless population.
On the streets they face a host of separate issues including violence, exposure to extreme weather conditions, and an even higher risk of substance abuse. It can take months or even years to have requests for housing, health care, and assistance processed by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Some of these requests do not even receive approval, leaving many homeless veterans truly stuck.
While there exists a wide variety of programs aimed at helping the homeless who remain alive, organizations aimed at preserving the honor of dead veterans are far harder to come by. The students at University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy saw a need in their community and worked together to address it. Sign the petition below to applaud this group of teens for working to restore the dignity of deceased homeless veterans.
Dear Mr. Gonzales,
A group of students recently served as pallbearers at funerals for three homeless veterans as part of a school group that aims to show respect to deceased veterans who lived on the streets. Nearly 50 students recently attended the group’s first training session and I hope student interest in the group remains.
You are an admirable group of students. You found a need within your community and came up with a way to help. We, the undersigned, applaud your efforts to provide respect and dignity to deceased homeless veterans.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: United States Marine Corps