Mayors Challenge Frequently Asked Questions

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild speaks at a landlord engagement image
Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild speaks at a landlord engagement image
Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild speaks at a landlord engagement.

What does it mean to accept the Mayors Challenge?  

By accepting the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, you are joining hundreds of locally elected officials from across the country in a permanent commitment to ensure homelessness is rare, brief, and non-recurring, beginning with veterans.

What does it mean to achieve the Mayors Challenge?  

In February 2017, federal partners at the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, HUD, and VA updated the criteria and benchmarks for ending veteran homelessness. 

What happens when I accept the Mayors Challenge?  

When you accept the Mayors Challenge, NLC and federal partners will confirm your participation and connect you with local stakeholders already at work to end veteran homelessness. As appropriate, NLC can support you and your community in examining what other cities have done after a local official has accepted the challenge. For example, after joining the Mayors Challenge, many elected officials work with local stakeholders to support landlord recruitment events to help identify vacant units of housing for homeless veterans.  

What resources are available to help me and my city reach the goal of the Mayors Challenge?  

To date, 45 communities and 3 states have reached the goal of the Mayors Challenge. These communities have achieved this milestone using the resources available. For the first time since the emergence of modern homelessness, the necessary resources are available to communities to end homelessness among our veterans. 

The challenge is to have the available resources effectively coordinated and efficiently administered using known best practices. To help communities improve their coordination and learn from one another, federal partners have supported local stakeholders through a series of technical assistance efforts. The lessons learned as part of these efforts are important resources for participants of the Mayors Challenge to bring to their community.  

Beginning in 2014, the VA's 25 Cities effort worked with key stakeholders in 25 cities across the country that had the highest concentrations of veteran homelessness. Concluding in 2016, veteran homelessness in these communities declined by 47 percent, while veteran homelessness in non-participating communities declined by 27 percent. Learn some of the lessons from each of these communities.  

Other federal technical assistance efforts including Built for Zero by Community Solutions and Vets@Home by HUD offer important lessons that can help your city achieve the goals of the Mayors Challenge.

How do I accept the Mayors Challenge?

To formally accept the Mayors Challenge and have your name added to the list, send an email similar the one below to mayorschallenge@nlc.org and to mayorschallenge@usich.gov. It is important that both emails be included. The following email language may be used:  

Hello,

On behalf of the <CITY>, <STATE>, I am writing to accept the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. This email (mayors_email@city.gov) is the best email for me and the best phone number for my office is XXX-XXX-XXXX. As a staff point of contact, I ask that you contact <STAFF FIRST NAME AND LAST NAME> at staff_contact@city.gov and XXX-XXX-XXXX.  

Thank you.  

Mayor <FIRST NAME & LAST NAME>