Senate Gives Final Passage to Bill Creating a Homeless Veterans Assistance Fund

June 16, 2014

The New York State Senate today gave final passage to a measure that will create a Homeless Veterans Assistance Fund to support military servicemen and women who need help with housing. The bill (S4760A), sponsored by Senator Jack Martins (R-C-I, Mineola), allows New Yorkers to contribute to the fund when filing their personal income taxes.

Senator Martins said, “No one who risked their life serving our country should be forgotten when they return home.  Every veteran deserves proper access to whatever care and services they need.  Enabling residents to donate to this new fund to help homeless veterans is another way to ensure we support our American heroes in their time of need.  I thank my colleagues for supporting this legislation.”   

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimated that there were approximately 57,849 homeless veterans on a single night in January 2013 in the United States. The V.A. lists a number of factors leading to veterans becoming homeless, including poverty, lack of support from family or friends, substance use, or mental health challenges that may develop or worsen as a result of trauma they experience while serving. 

This measure creates the Homeless Veterans Assistance Fund to assist and care for homeless veterans with housing and housing-related expenses, as determined by the New York State Department of Veterans Affairs. To facilitate contributions, the fund would have a place on the state’s personal income tax return. New Yorkers electing to support the fund can make contributions in any dollar amount. 
The bill has previously passed the Assembly and will be sent to the Governor for consideration.