Clothing left behind at airport security checkpoints would be turned over for distribution to homeless veterans under a bill the House passed Tuesday.
Under the Clothe a Homeless Hero Act, the Transportation Security Administration and Veterans Affairs Department would partner with local veterans organizations and charities to distribute abandoned clothing to homeless veterans and their families. Sponsor Rep. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) has said the idea arose when she left a scarf behind when going through screening earlier this year.
“As cold weather approaches across much of the country, this legislation will be a greatly needed help for homeless veterans while we work to end homelessness for good,” she said in a statement after the bill’s passage on a voice vote. “It is unconscionable that so many of our veterans are homeless, and we must support our returning heroes. I am proud that my legislation to assist veterans passed with the bi-partisan support of my colleagues.”
TSA said that each state has its own agreement with TSA on the disposal of items left behind at security checkpoints and that about 850 items of all types of clothing are turned over to airports for distribution to the states by TSA per day.
The bill now moves to the Senate.
This post has been updated since it was first published.