The Backpack Program That’s Saving Veterans From Homelessness and Starvation

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After 20 years and over $60 million raised to make a meaningful impact in lives around the world, is relaunching with a new look, and a renewed commitment to lending support where it matters most.

For the last 7 years, your clicks at the GreaterGood website have helped support hundreds of small projects that aid people, pets, and the planet. In just the last few weeks, you have helped fund specialized care programs for those living with Alzheimer’s, you have improved the likelihood of adoption for often-anxious shelter pets, and you’ve helped us donate 1,000 books to children in need.

This support has changed lives, and on the all-new, it will now be amplified across 24 of our most impactful programs and partnerships. One of those programs is helping save veterans from homelessness and starvation.


When you purchase a Care Pack on behalf of a homeless veteran and their beloved pet, you will be letting them know they have not been forgotten by the country they served.

“When you’re a homeless veteran and you’ve lost everything, the smallest little thing can mean the world to you,” says Navy veteran and president and CEO of Veterans Village of San Diego Kim Mitchell.

Each homeless veteran comfort pack includes:

  • A backpack to hold supplies and possessions.
  • A hygiene kit including shampoo, soap, and toothbrush.
  • A reusable water bottle.
  • A t-shirt and socks to provide a clean change of clothing.
  • A blanket for warmth and comfort.


Many homeless veterans are also caring for a beloved animal companion. These animals provide emotional support and comfort, yet the responsibility can bring added stress to a homeless veteran’s life.

“Having an animal to be there and support, to be there to comfort them, is really crucial for a lot of our veterans to kind of fit back into normalcy again,” Mitchell says. “That’s their battle buddy now.”

Each pet pack includes items to help a homeless veteran care for their pet.

  • A collapsible bowl to provide a clean place for the pet to eat or drink.
  • A slip lead leash to ensure the pet remains safe with their veteran owner.
  • A treat and a toy that provides the dog with comfort and happiness. This gift also helps to create an even stronger bond between the veteran and their pet.


According to HUD figures, close to 38,000 veterans were homeless during January 2018. These are the same individuals who answered the call to duty during our nation’s most threatening times; and yet, they are living without even the most basic of human needs. They have fought in many wars, and today, they are without a place to call home.

There are several factors that can cause a veteran to either become or come close to homelessness:

  • Lack of affordable housing, with housing and living costs currently on the rise
  • Limited civilian jobs that are comparable with a veteran’s unique employment experience and skill set
  • Living with a physical or mental disability, like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Substance abuse, with some cases resulting from the physical and mental demands of deployment and war

Source:’s goal is to provide the support for those who are on the front lines helping our veterans cope with these complex issues. We are committed to causes that are both actively supporting homeless veterans as well as those committed to addressing the risk factors to prevent homelessness. Some of these include:

  • Helping locate, obtain or provide safe & supportive housing
  • Provide job training and employment
  • Provide nutritious and consistent meals
  • Provide pet and equine therapy to alleviate the effects of PTSD


You can help! A full 100% of your donation will go towards helping homeless and starving veterans. You can learn more about this life-changing program and many others at the new click-to-give site.

Learn more in the video below.

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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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