For Country Caucus Endorses Congressman Panetta Bill to Provide Legal Services to Homeless Veterans

December 9, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the For Country Caucus formally endorsed Congressman Jimmy Panetta’s (CA-20) bipartisan legislation, the Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Act, H.R. 3749.

The Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Act directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide grants to organizations that provide legal services to homeless veterans and veterans at risk for homelessness. The legislation, as amended, would also appropriate at least $20 million to organizations that have a focus on providing assistance to women veterans and their families.

In backing the initiative, the bipartisan For Country Caucus, a group of military veteran Members of Congress, has come together to support providing resources and assistance to vulnerable veteran populations. The Caucus is hopeful the legislation will be swiftly brought to the House floor for a vote.

"Accessing legal aid should not be an added hurdle for veterans struggling with or on the brink of homelessness.  It is essential that Congress ensure that our veterans are properly supported," said Congressman Panetta.  "The Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Act provides veterans, and supportive and surrounding organizations, the resources necessary to help them resolve legal issues and get back on their feet. I am proud of the bipartisan support for this bill and thank my colleagues for their endorsement."

"Too many who have nobly served this country are homeless," said Congresswoman Houlahan. "Additionally, women represent the fastest-growing segment of the homeless veteran population. We owe more than just gratitude to those who have worn the uniform. This legislation will provide crucial legal assistance to help our veterans make a successful transition from their service into civilian life. I’m proud to be working with my colleagues and fellow veterans from both sides of the aisle to end this crisis amongst our veteran community."

"Veterans account for approximately 11 percent of our adult homeless population – and it’s unacceptable that these brave men and women who thankfully made it back home find themselves without one now," Congressman Waltz said. "The legal assistance in this bill will help our heroes transition back into society and prevent others from becoming homeless."

"In January 2018, there were nearly 37,878 veterans experiencing homelessness in the United States. These individuals struggle with poverty, lack support systems and affordable housing, experience unemployment, and may often live with a mental illness. As a veteran and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I strongly believe this is just one of many steps we need to take to allow our veterans to receive the vital benefits, services, and treatment they rightfully deserve," said Congressman Bacon.

Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Congressman Don Bacon (R-NE) are Chairs of the For Country Caucus, and Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and Congressman Michael Waltz (R-FL) are Vice-Chairs. All four served in the U.S. military: Panetta as a Naval Intelligence Officer, Bacon as an Air Force Brigadier General, Houlahan as an Air Force Captain, and Waltz as an Army National Guard Green Beret.