Ending Veteran Homelessness

First Lady Michelle Obama, in support of the Joining Forces initiative, addresses the 2014 National Conference on Ending Homelessness, in Washington, D.C., July 31, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

As President Obama has said, too many of those who once wore our nation's uniform now sleep in our nation’s streets. In 2010, the Administration released Opening Doors, the nation’s first-ever strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. Among other things, this plan set forward an aggressive strategy to end Veteran homelessness.

Since that time, through focused collaboration with governors, mayors, private sector and philanthropic partners, Congress, and others, we have made tremendous strides in reducing Veteran homelessness. Cities across the country – from New Orleans and Houston to Mobile and Winston-Salem – have already announced that they have put an end to Veteran homelessness. The overall Veteran homelessness has decreased by 36 percent since 2010, and unsheltered homelessness has decreased by nearly 50 percent, resulting in tens of thousands fewer Veterans on the streets and without a place to stay. And the VA is serving more Veterans than ever before with specialized homelessness or at-risk services.

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Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness

Our work will not be finished until every Veteran has a roof over their head, and every community has the tools in place to keep Veterans from sliding back into homelessness. That is why the First Lady and Dr. Biden have launched the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, with over 800 city and county officials signing on to end Veteran homelessness by the end of the year. And through the Joining Forces initiative, we will continue to collaborate with these communities, as well as local stakeholders such as landlord associations and housing navigators, to make it easier for Veterans to get assistance and find affordable housing.

Visit the Mayors Challenge homepage