Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti pledged to end veteran homelessness in his city during a regional veterans summit last week, joining scores of mayors who previously accepted the Obama administration’s challenge.
Garcetti also reiterated an earlier promise to work with the county to secure 10,000 jobs for veterans by 2017. First Lady Michelle Obama, who spoke at the summit, praised both of the mayor’s commitments.
“The idea that any of our veterans are spending months, or even years, struggling to find a job is unacceptable,” Obama said. “The image of even one of these heroes sleeping out in the cold huddled up next to an overpass … that should horrify all of us, because that’s not who we are.”
To address veteran homelessness, the administration is cutting red tape across agencies, reported the Defense Media Activity.
“These efforts have brought tens of thousands of veterans out of homelessness,” Obama said. “They have helped prevent over 100,000 more from falling into homelessness in the first place.”
She noted that voters in California had authorized $600 million toward housing for veteran families, the largest state-funded effort in the country. Los Angeles in collaboration with the United Way and the Chamber of Commerce has united public and private partners to launch Home for Good, which has housed more than 9,000 veterans since 2011.
Garcetti’s promise extends only to the 2,600 homeless veterans living within city limits, not the 6,300 veterans throughout Los Angeles County, reported the Los Angeles Times.