Top 3 Takeaways From the First Lady’s Address on Veteran Homelessness
First Lady Michelle Obama addressed and thanked city officials and the National League of Cities (NLC) for their support of the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness as part of NLC’s 2016 Congressional City Conference in Washington, D.C.
Addressing by video more than 2,000 city leaders in Washington, D.C. as part of the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference, First Lady Michelle Obama applauded the historic commitment to veteran homelessness by city officials and NLC through the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.
Since launching in June of 2014 as part of Joining Forces, more than 850 elected officials across 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have accepted the Mayors Challenge.
The First Lady highlighted three key elements as part of her address:
- Success is Possible
Since establishing the Mayors Challenge, 21 communities and two states have effectively ended veteran homelessness. These achievements illustrate that it is possible to build a community system that can ensure veteran homelessness is rare, brief, and non-recurring.
- Impacts Are Real
In the last year alone, more than 157,000 veterans and their families have secured or remained in permanent housing. Since 2010, veteran homelessness is down 36 percent and unsheltered veteran homelessness has been cut by almost half.
- Our Commitment to Veterans Must Be Permanent
The progress on veteran homelessness cannot stop. As long as we have men and women serving in our armed forces, there will always be veterans who may fall on hard times and need help. It is our duty to serve them as they have served us.
The National League of Cities is proud to be a key partner with the Administration on this effort since Day One. Click here for more information about how NLC can support your city’s efforts.
These case studies can provide step-by-step examples for city leaders who wish to join the Mayors Challenge and make a real commitment to ending veteran homelessness.
About the Author: Elisha Harig-Blaine is the Principal Associate for Housing (Veterans and Special Needs) at NLC. Follow Elisha on Twitter at @HarigBlaine.