Target: Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans
Goal: Praise the successful eradication of veteran homelessness in New Orleans
New Orleans has successfully ended veteran homelessness, becoming the first American city to do so. At the beginning of January, social workers moved the last known homeless veteran into a new apartment. One year previously, the city accepted Michelle Obama’s Mayor’s Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, pledging to complete the challenge in one year instead of the requested two. In total, the city has found homes for 227 veterans by renovating an old apartment complex.
In many American cities, the unemployment rate is up to two percent higher in veterans than that of the general population, likely due to increased physical and mental disability in veterans. This leads to an increased risk of food insecurity and homelessness. In 2014, 50,000 veterans were homeless or at risk of losing their homes at some point during the year. As a whole, the country has made good progress, reducing veteran homelessness by 17 percent in the past decade.
New Orleans’ success has created a model for the 300 other cities participating in the challenge to follow, and has proven that it is possible to eradicate veteran homelessness. Because of the city’s work, hundreds of veterans will be given a chance to start over without the threats of violence and health issues that come with vagrancy. Sign the petition below to applaud New Orleans’ success in eradicating veteran homelessness.
Dear Mayor Mitch Landrieu,
New Orleans recently moved the last of the city’s homeless veterans into a renovated apartment complex. The city has become the first in America to successfully eradicate veteran homelessness, as part of a challenge set by First Lady Michelle Obama. Not only did the city meet the challenge, but it was able to achieve the goal in only one year.
Veterans with physical disabilities and psychological illnesses can find work difficult or impossible, leading to a high percentage of unemployed veterans. As a result, the rate of homelessness in veterans is two percent higher than average. Of the 600,000 homeless in America, 50,000 are estimated to be veterans.
Not only has the city given a new chance to hundreds of veterans, it has set a successful model that other cities taking the challenge may follow. We, the undersigned, applaud your hard work to eliminate veteran homelessness.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: C. G. P. Grey via Creative Commons