While some smaller cities have been able to deal with the problem of homelessness among veterans, New Orleans is the first major city to achieve that goal.
We congratulate Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the coalition of nonprofit organizations and public agencies that came together with volunteers to house 227 veterans since July 4. That is when the city accepted the challenge of first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of the vice president, to tackle this issue which has such a strong moral claim on America’s communities.
Mobilizing active-duty and retired service members to help with the task was a key to the New Orleans effort, and the mayor is right to say that this model may be helpful to other cities seeking to answer the challenge.
And as Landrieu said, the problem of veteran homelessness can probably never be considered finally over, so the efforts in Baton Rouge and many other major cities cannot let up. “As one of the first cities to achieve this noble goal, New Orleans is helping lead a national campaign to make certain that these brave Americans have a place to call home,” said Julian Castro, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
It’s a campaign that the nation should and can win.