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End Veteran Homelessness Challenge Overview

End Veteran Homelessness ChallengeThe Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Homeless Programs Office is partnering with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the American Student Council Association (ASCA) for the second annual End Veteran Homelessness Challenge.   

group of kidsAlthough homelessness among our nation's Veterans is declining in most communities, there is still work to be done to ensure that every Veteran has a place to call home. It is the three partners' hope that their ongoing collaboration will help meet at-risk and homeless Veterans' needs for affordable housing and everyday household essentials.

ASCA member student councils that participate in the challenge will compete to:

  • Raise the most money to help cover formerly homeless Veterans' move-in costs, such as security deposits, and/or
  • Collect the most household essentials, such as cookware and bed linens, and/or
  • Collect the most essential clothing items, such as socks, undergarments, and jackets

As part of the challenge, each participating student council is paired with its local VA medical center (VAMC), which does the following:

  • Provides information on the specific needs of local Veterans who are exiting homelessness.
  • Manages the receipt of donations.
  • Ensures the donations get to the Veterans in need.

The student council that collects the largest combination of monetary and/or in-kind donations will be featured in the first 2020 issue of the ASCA Advisor Newsletter and will also receive a prize package for its council members. Also, all participating councils will receive a certificate of thanks and automatic consideration for the ASCA Honor Council Award. Lastly, VA will publish the winning results and other information about the challenge in its VAntage Point blog and possibly in its VAnguard magazine.

The End Veteran Homelessness Challenge takes place from September 30 to November 15.

Sign Up for the End Veteran Homelessness Challenge

assembly of kidsTo sign up for the End Veteran Homelessness Challenge, click this link and follow the instructions below:

  • Fill out the form in its entirety.
  • Save the completed form on your computer.
  • Attach the completed form to an email and send it to Nikki Sparks at

Please note that this form only indicates your student council's interest in participation and does not act as a contract. Council advisors will be provided with additional details after their form has been received.

If you have any questions, please email Nikki Sparks at

2019 Participants

  • Burnet Elementary School — Galveston, TX
  • Eastman Avenue Elementary School — Los Angeles, CA
  • Ka’ohao School — Kailua, HI
  • Rocky River Elementary School — Concord, NC
  • McCracken Middle School — Skokie, IL
  • Carrollwood Day School — Tampa, FL

2018 End Veteran Homelessness Challenge Results

collection of goodsbags of goodsDuring the inaugural challenge in 2018, student councils in six states competed to collect the most money and household goods to benefit Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The six participating elementary schools collected nearly $7,000 worth of household items that helped homeless Veterans move into safe, stable housing.

Read more about last year's success in this blog post, and see below for a list of last year's participating schools:

  • Carrollwood Day School in Tampa, Florida
  • Eastman Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles, California
  • Henry Zarrow International School in Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Little Cypress Intermediate School in Orange, Texas
  • The Main Street Academy in College Park, Georgia
  • Public School 54 in the Bronx, New York

How To Join ASCA

The American Student Council Association is a national program of the National Association of Elementary School Principals that recognizes and supports student councils across the nation for making a difference in their schools and communities.

Why join ASCA? One reason: Student council members serve as positive role models for all students in their school. To learn more and find out how to join ASCA, click here. You can also visit the website at

If you have questions, please contact Nikki Sparks at