More than 300 mayors have vowed to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. New Orleans celebrated the new year by becoming the first city to do so.
Courtesy of UNITY of Greater New Orleans
Most people celebrate the New Year by making resolutions. The city of New Orleans rang in 2015 by keeping one.
At 6 p.m. on Jan. 2, social workers in New Orleans moved the city’s last known homeless veteran into his new apartment – becoming the first US city to effectively eliminate veteran homelessness.
Homelessness advocates around the country are hailing New Orleans as a model for cities around the country looking to end homelessness, not just for veterans, but for all people needing a permanent home.
“The solutions that work for veterans are the solutions that work for all people,” says Laura Zeilinger, executive director of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness. “The problem is absolutely solvable when we invest in the practices that we know work.”
This time last year, nearly 50,000 US veterans had no home to call their own, according to an annual count. On Independence Day, first lady Michelle Obama launched the Mayor’s Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. Since that time, more than 300 mayors, six governors, and 71 other local officials have joined the pledge to house every veteran by the end of 2015.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu took that pledge one step further, promising to meet the goal by the end of 2014.
“We owe our Veterans our eternal gratitude for their service and sacrifice to this nation, and making sure they have a place to call home is a small but powerful way we can show our appreciation,” Mayor Landrieu said in a statement Wednesday, announcing that New Orleans had housed all known veterans in the Crescent City.
In total, the city has placed 227 veterans in housing since the start of 2014.
Read more at: The Christian Science Monitor