Nearly 40,000 American veterans were homeless last year, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and organizations across the country are starting to take action.
Just last week, the city of San Francisco opened up a new veterans housing complex, giving 722 local veterans homes. According to Mayor Ed Lee, the city will open another 128 be the end of this year.
On a larger scale, Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) recently introduced the Homeless Veterans Prevention Act, a bill that would allow veterans to take their children along when using assistance housing. In the past, most housing programs only allowed veterans themselves in housing units, a shortcoming that made it hard for parents—particularly women—to participate.
In September, the Five Star Institute will do its part toward ending veteran homelessness by hosting its annual Military Heroes Keys for Life event on September 19. In partnership with Operation Homefront, a non-profit provider for emergency financial relief and housing for military families, Keys for Life will present five wounded veterans with mortgage-free homes.
In addition to Five Star and Operation Homefront, Auction.com, Aspen Grove Solutions, MCS Mortgage Contracting Services, ZVN Properties, Alacrity Services, Single Source, and US Best Repair Service are also sponsoring the event. Auction.com alone is donating $100,000 this year to Operation Homefront. This is the seventh year the Five Star Institute has hosted the Keys for Life event. To date, the Five Star Institute has partnered with Operation Homefront to donate more than 30 homes to veterans.
“As we pause this Memorial Day to honor the brave servicemen and woman who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom, I am ever reminded of those organizations from across our industry that come together to support this important cause,” said Ed Delgado, CEO and President of the Five Star Institute and Board Member of Operation Homefront. “We are humbled and proud to offer a small expression of gratitude to America’s finest. We hope to make a difference in their lives and the lives of their loved ones.”
David Shulkin, the Chief of Veterans Affairs, recently told the Associated Press reducing the number of homeless veterans to 10,000 to 15,0000 was an “achievable goal” over the course of the Trump administration. Events like Keys for Life, as well as other efforts going on throughout the country, are sure to help.
To learn more about Keys for Life, visit FiveStarConference.com.