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First Lady Michelle Obama and Mayor Coleman pledge to end veteran homelessness

State and city officials across the country join together to end veteran homelessness

When walking around downtown Columbus, you might pass a homeless person and think nothing of it. After all, when you see homelessness week after week, the human condition is to just ignore it and go about your day.

However, the sad truth is that some of these men and women you look past once proudly served our country’s military, and are now forced to beg for money and sleep outdoors. As First Lady Michelle Obama said, “Sometimes we see these folks on our way to work or when we’re walking our kids home from school. We might pass them—someone as we’re strolling through the park sitting on a bench and not even realize that he or she is a veteran.”

Recently, the First Lady spoke at the 2014 National Conference on Ending Homelessness, stating “...as Americans, the idea that anyone who has worn our country’s uniform spends their nights sleeping on the ground should horrify us. And so it is truly our duty to right this wrong and put an end to veteran homelessness, once and for all.”

The First Lady also shared some troubling stats with the conference, stating, “...the fact that right now, our country has more than 58,000 homeless veterans, well, that’s a stain on the soul of this nation.”

As part of the Mayors Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness, Mrs. Obama’s words were heard, and state and local governments pledged to take action. In June, over 80 mayors, governors and county officials had already committed to the program. Mrs. Obama also reported on July 31 that an additional 100 local leaders had pledged to end veteran homelessness in their communities by the end of 2015.

One of the city officials who is taking part in the Mayor’s Challenge, and who has already been working to solve the homeless problem is Columbus’ own Mayor Coleman. In his 2014 State of the City address, Coleman said, “Despite our status as one of the most affordable cities in the nation, more than a thousand of our residents are homeless every day.”

Coleman announced that the Community Shelter Board will receive $1.1 million dollars, and a new customized case management system. Coleman is also attacking homelessness at the source, and supporting programs that will provide education and work opportunities to the chronically unemployed.

You can help too

If you’d like to help homeless Ohio veterans live a better life, Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio is taking vehicle donations right here in Columbus. We’ll accept anything with a motor, like tractors, boats, motorcycles and RVs. It’s tax-deductible, and we’ll even arrange free same–day towing! And remember, when you donate to Volunteers of America, you’re helping us give back to homeless veterans in all of the Ohio communities we serve.

Contact the Car Donation & Auction Office at 614-870-7511 if you have any questions, or fill out the car donation form.