Sen. Toomey Introduces Bill To Help Clothe Homeless And Needy Veterans
House passed the Clothe a Homeless Hero Act Tuesday evening
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) introduced a bill (S. 3640) today to require the Transportation Security Administration to work with the Veterans Affairs Department and local charities to distribute unclaimed clothing left at airport security checkpoints to homeless and needy veterans and their families.
The House of Representatives passed a companion bill (H.R. 6328) Tuesday by voice vote. U.S. Representative Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) introduced the House bill.
"Thousands of pieces of clothing are left unclaimed at airport security checkpoints - clothing that could be put to good use. The Clothe a Homeless Hero Act helps our heroes by giving unclaimed clothing to those most in need," Sen. Toomey said. "I thank Rep. Hochul for her leadership on this issue, and I urge my Senate colleagues to join me in supporting this bipartisan, common-sense measure to help our veterans and their families."
"As cold weather approaches across much of the country, we must provide for our nation's homeless veterans while we work to end homelessness for good. I am proud to partner with Sen. Toomey to advance my legislation to assist homeless heroes, which passed the House with the bipartisan support of my colleagues," Rep. Hochul said. "I urge the Senate to support Sen. Toomey's companion bill and to pass the Clothe a Homeless Hero Act without delay."
According to the Veterans Affairs Department, about 75,000 veterans are homeless on any given night, and about 20,000 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been homeless within the last five years.
Veterans advocates in Pennsylvania praised the legislation.
"I support the continuing efforts of Sen. Toomey to promote bipartisan legislation such as the Clothe a Homeless Hero Act to improve the lives of those who have served our country," said Media, Pa., Mayor and retired Army First Lieutenant Bob McMahon (D).
"I believe that the Clothe a Homeless Hero Act is an important way to show support and thanks to the men and women who have served our country and protected democracy worldwide. I appreciate that items left unclaimed at security checkpoints will be used to benefit those who have served our country and earned our continued gratitude," said retired Army Second Lieutenant and Philadelphia City Councilman At-Large David Oh.
"By spearheading the effort to bring awareness to the issue of homelessness in the veterans community, we salute Sen. Toomey," said retired Army Specialist David Kamioner, executive director of the Philadelphia Veterans Comfort House.
"This act is a terrific example of how Congress can act effectively in a bipartisan way to address a critical need for our veterans - especially some of our most vulnerable veterans who live outdoors in the city. I hope every senator and member of Congress will add their full support behind this piece of legislation," said Edd Conboy, director of social services at Broad Street Ministry in Philadelphia and the director of the Council on Relationship's Operation Home & Healing in Philadelphia.
"I think this is a great idea. Items that can be used to help any veteran, but especially homeless veterans, are a huge help," said Ronald Conley, manager of the Allegheny County Veterans' Services Department.