New Orleans Houses Its Homeless Veterans
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says the city has completed a pledge to house its homeless veterans. He says it’s the first major city to reach the goal set by First Lady Michelle Obama.
Mayor Landrieu joined officials, homeless advocates and veterans gathered at the National World War II Museum to announce 227 homeless veterans are no longer living on city streets, ending a campaign launched in July.
Former New Orleans VFW Commander Marshall Hevron says he and other veterans volunteered for the effort.
“We had a combined team of active duty military and then mostly recent veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we also had some Vietnam vets — really kind of went out on the streets and went and identified folks, talked to them about going to into the VA," he said, "which was able to then kind of help move them into some transitional housing.”
It was part of the First Lady’s program called the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. More than 300 mayors accepted. Hevron says it made sense that veterans joined in.
“For the participants it was fulfilling but I think we were also very effective messengers," he said, "appealing to these homeless veterans on a veteran-to-veteran basis.”
Unity of Greater New Orleans is asking the public for donations of furniture as well as kitchen and bath supplies to help the veterans settle into their new homes.