Urgent Note from Ken Leslie, Advocate-in-Chief 

This is probably one of the hardest messages I’ve had to write since we started Veterans Matter. . . It is hard because when the veterans need us most, we will help them the least.  

Meaning veterans will die because we won’t be able to be there. 

The reasons are obvious. Like most non-profits, we will be losing nearly half of our revenue this year due to cancelled internal fundraisers, partner fundraisers, as well as corporate and veteran service group fundraising events and campaigns. 

COVID-19 has put our nation’s homeless veterans at risk of life or death. It breaks my heart that when they need us most, we can help them least. But we will never quit fighting for the veterans, just as they never quit fighting for us. 

We have been fortunate to receive the Small Business Administration PPP funds, which has allowed us to maintain full staff and allows them to take care of their families with full pay until June 30th.  

Effective July 1st, we will have salary reductions and layoffs, which were volunteered individually by this incredible staff. The depth will be based what we, you, and I have been able to do to raise the funds to house more veterans. 

When you know veterans will die if you don’t, you just do. Let’s do it! 

Ken Leslie 


Veterans Matter 

The CDC recognizes homeless populations among the most vulnerable for communicable infections and diseases. Due to poor living conditions and lack of healthcare access, homeless vets are exposed to infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, at much higher rates than housed vets. This means we need to move them from the streets, cars, and crowded shelters into safe, permanent housing immediately. The longer we do not have funding available to house them, the longer they will be on the streets, vulnerable tdisease, infection, and ultimately death. 

Resources & Links:

For more information regarding the effect of COVID-19 on the homeless population, click below:

The beginning of 2020 was looking strong for Veterans Matter. Revenue was up nearly 50% from the beginning of 2019. We housed more than twice as many veterans. 2020 was looking to be a great year for helping our nation’s homeless heroes. Then an unexpected, unprecedented pandemic happened, and things changed. . .  

Like most non-profits, COVID-19 has eliminated all 2020 fundraising events for the Veterans Matter, creating a significant budget shortfall for 11 of our 25 active states. Therefore, operations have been temporarily suspended for the following areas of operation, pending additional funding: 

  • Michigan 
  • Oregon 
  • Tennessee 
  • Washington 
  • Montana 
  • California 
  • New England (Massachusetts & Connecticut) 
  • Alabama 
  • Mid-Atlantic (Maryland & Virginia) 
  • North Carolina  

What does this mean? 

Simply put: this means we are being forced to turn away veterans who need our help. . .  and it breaks our hearts.  

While our revenue stream has decreased by 50% from the 1st quarter of 2020, veterans housed expenditures have increased by 77% from 2019. Essentially, revenue is down and many operation funds are depleted, but the need to help our homeless heroes has increased significantly.  

What are we doing? 

We are working tirelessly to raise the funds needed to continue housing homeless veterans across the nation, paying particular attention to areas of operation that have been temporarily suspended. We have focused much of our efforts on applying for foundation and corporate grants to obtain enough funding to sustain operations in our most vulnerable areas. Additionally, we are continuing to work with our long-time advocates at the National Exchange Club and First Nation Group to come up with creative ways to adjust to the abrupt decline in revenue. 

What can you do to help? 

Click here to check out the new U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) initiative

If you are an organization or corporation and would like to help house homeless heroes in your area, please contact Ken Leslie – kleslie@veteransmatter.org