First Lady Michelle Obama and the U.S. departments of Housing and Urban Development  and Veterans Affairs today announced a Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness during an event at the White House.

According to HUD, more than 75 mayors and county and state officials across the country pledged they are “committed to ending veterans homelessness in their communities by 2015 using the power of federal, local, and non-profit resources.”

The mayors of Hawaii’s four counties — Kirk Caldwell (Honolulu), Billy Kenoi (Hawaii), Alan Arakawa (Maui) and Bernard Carvalho Jr. (Kauai) — are not on the HUD list.

Caldwell has recently stepped up his administrations efforts regarding homelessness, a “compassionate disruption” plan that has critics and supporters.

Michelle Obama at vets hiring fair

Michelle Obama speaking at a veterans hiring expo at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, November 2011.

Ed Morita/Nonstop Honolulu

Hawaii has a large veteran population and a growing homeless population, and they are converging. Read Civil Beat’s More of Hawaii’s Veterans Are Homeless Compared With Nearly Every Other State.

 The Obama Administration says it has reduced veterans homelessness nationally by 24 percent since 2010. The goal is to end veterans homelessness by the end of 2015.

“When you serve our nation in the bravest of ways, you should not have to wonder where you will lay your head at night,”  said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “The Administration and communities across the country have taken bold action to use existing resources to create permanent supportive housing and ensure the targeting of the most vulnerable people.”

Find out ways you can get involved in local efforts to end Veteran homelessness in your own community.

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