San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer was tapped Wednesday to be one of five California mayors to join a White House initiative to end homelessness among former members of the armed forces.
The Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness was announced by first lady Michelle Obama and Shaun Donovan, secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
The program involves leaders with HUD, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and National League of Cities. The purpose of the mayors challenge is to work at ending homelessness nationally by implementing strategies locally, according to the White House.
"Over the years, I've worked locally with many San Diegans to help homeless veterans create a better life," Faulconer said. "I'm proud to take this issue head-on and join the national initiative to find more ways to get our nation's heroes off city streets and back into a decent home."
A count in January found more than 8,500 homeless people in San Diego County, around 17 percent of whom were veterans. The figure for ex-military members was up 2 percent from one year earlier.
Other California mayors participating in the White House initiative are Ashley Swearengin of Fresno, John Marchand of Livermore, Jean Quan of Oakland and John D'Amico of West Hollywood.
—City News Service