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Crowdfunding Initiative Provides Housing Essentials to Veterans Experiencing Homelessness

The Welcome Home Kit initiative aims to raise funds to support veterans experiencing homelessness across the nation on Veterans Day as part of the #DayForTheBrave campaign. 

#DayForTheBrave, a online fundraising campaign, will bring together nonprofits and charities from across the nation to raise money to support local veterans. A portion of the event, taking place on Veterans Day, November 11th, is dedicated to raising funds to provide housing essentials to veterans experiencing homelessness through the Welcome Home Kit initiative.

The Welcome Home Kits consist of key items to successfully house veterans, such as landlord engagement assistance, housing navigation, and security and utility deposits, as well as furnishings to transform an empty apartment into a home. A White House convening in July identified these as a critical and missing components that complement the existing funding allocated for rents. 

Communities within the 25 Cities Initiative, which provides technical assistance to communities across the country with  the highest concentration of veterans experiencing homelessness, have joined the effort by setting up city-specific fundraising pages where individuals can donate to fund Welcome Home Kits for local veterans. Also featured is a general fund to which donors can make contributions that will be disbursed to the areas with the greatest need.

“The City of Atlanta, in partnership with homeless service providers throughout the city, is poised to reach functional zero for veterans experiencing homelessness,” said Cathryn Marchman, Executive Director of Partners for H.O.M.E. “#DayForTheBrave is a phenomenal initiative which will go a long way to support our efforts and commitment to ensuring that there are no veterans without a home in the city of Atlanta.”

There are nearly 50,000 veterans experiencing homelessness in the United States, according to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2014 Point-In-Time count. In addition, about 1.4 million more are at risk of becoming homeless due to lack of support or financial hardships. Government funding is limited and programs are often at capacity, creating a need for additional resources to support veterans.

In an effort to create awareness among corporate and philanthropic funders about the need for veterans, Funders Together to End Homelessness, the Council on Foundations, and Community Solutions partnered to organize the Welcome Home Kits initiative in response to the unique funding gaps in the federal government’s effort to end veteran homelessness in 2015.  After hearing about this need, Razoo, an online crowdfunding platform, offered to dedicate a section of the upcoming #DayForTheBrave campaign to the Welcome Home Kit initiative.

For more information on the initiative or to donate, visit the #DayForTheBrave Welcome Home Kits website.

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-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

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-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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