A January night in Chicago: 721 homeless veterans, 465 of which were living in shelters, and 256 that had no place to call home whatsoever.
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel wants that number to be reduced, and drastically. In fact, he, like several other mayors across the United States, have pledged to end veteran homelessness within their city by the end of 2015.
Though several cities within the U.S. have actively been combating this issue for some time, the recent remarks from mayors such as Emanuel have come as a result of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.
“It is an audacious goal, but it is achievable, absolutely achievable,” Obama said in her announcement, citing that in the last three years, we as a country have already decreased veteran homelessness by 24 percent.
“It is an audacious goal, but it is achievable,
The intent of the Mayors Challenge Program is not just to provide housing for veterans, but to make sure that their housing is permanent. This can be achieved with continued assistance by and through local communities, starting with the mayors’ acceptance of the challenge.
For example, in addition to the four acres of land already donated for new housing facilities, Mayor Emanuel has announced that a $5 million program will be put in place to provide housing and other assistance to veterans in Chicago.
A program alone will not end veteran homelessness, however, nor will a plan. In order to achieve that goal, more help is needed. You can help end veteran homelessness. All of us can.
Swank, Jenny. “Two More Cities Pledge to End Veteran Homelessness.” NationSwell, 23 September 2014. Web.
Spielman, Fran. “Emanuel unveils plan to end veteran homelessness.” Chicago Sun-Times, 16 September 2014. Web.
Click below to watch First Lady Michelle Obama’s address: