STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS -- (Senate - June 07, 2005)
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By Mr. OBAMA:
S. 1180. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to reauthorize various programs servicing the needs of homeless veterans for fiscal years 2007 through 2011, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
Mr. OBAMA. Mr. President, the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that on any given day, as many as 200,000 veterans are homeless. That is 200,000 men and women who have fought for this country who will go without the comfort of knowing that they will have a roof over their head and a place to call home.
If 200,000 of our Nation's veterans will go homeless tonight, the VA estimates that about twice as many veterans will experience homelessness this year. Again, that is 400,000 men and women who defended this great Nation, who will be left out on the streets at some point this year.
I hope my colleagues are as distressed as I am by these numbers, and I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting the bill I introduce today--the Shelter All Veterans Everywhere or ``SAVE'' Reauthorization Act of 2005.
This bill reauthorizes many of the soon-to-expire homeless veterans programs currently serving this needy population, including the Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program and the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program. These programs work to provide much-needed services to homeless veterans so that they can find jobs and ultimately find a stable home. These programs deserve to be continued. The SAVE Reauthorization Act actually expands the reach of the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program, which provides job placement and training assistance, to include those veterans at risk of homelessness as well as those actually homeless, so that we can work to prevent homelessness before it happens.
At a time when so many of my colleagues are working to ensure that our Nation's veterans receive the benefits and services they have earned and deserve, we cannot forget the neediest of our veterans--the homeless veterans. I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting these worthy programs.
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