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First Lady on homeless veterans: 58,000 is a moral outrage

By Lesley Clark
McClatchy Washington Bureau

First Lady Michelle Obama -- who has made veterans issues a hallmark of her tenure -- will take the administration’s efforts at ending homelessness among veterans to the 2014 National Conference on Ending Homelessness.

Obama is scheduled to speak Thursday at the conference, which an estimated 1,600 people will attend.

Obama in June called the nation’s estimated 58,000 homeless veterans a “moral outrage” and announced a new White House effort to find housing for them, working with mayors, governors and county officials.

“These leaders are best equipped to tackle this challenge because they know their communities inside and out, and they’re in touch with service providers who know these veterans by name,” Obama said in June, announcing the “Mayors Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness” at the White House. “They aren’t just going to address veteran homelessness in their cities and states, they’re going to end it – and they’re going to do it by the end of 2015. It is an audacious goal, but it is achievable. It is absolutely achievable.”

The White House included the effort in a list of 40 plus executive actions that Obama taken in what the White House calls its “Year of Action.” Critics say most of the steps have been fairly modest.

Email: lclark@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @lesleyclark.
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