White House

Obama to unveil first state to end veteran homelessness

President Barack Obama speaks during a Organizing for Action event, on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, in Washington. Obama thanked the organization for their work in promoting his policies.
President Barack Obama speaks during a Organizing for Action event, on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, in Washington. Obama thanked the organization for their work in promoting his policies. AP

In honor of Veterans Day Wednesday, President Barack Obama and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will announce Virginia is the first to end veteran homelessness statewide.

The cities of Las Vegas, Syracuse and Schenectady, N.Y. also have ended veteran homelessness, according to the White House.

Ending veteran homelessness is “something that is the right thing to work on but that no one expects to solve,” Cecilia Muñoz, domestic policy council director at the White House, told reporters. However, she said, “the president has a very different view about this problem.”

Veteran homelessness is one of the president’s five “pillars of veterans’ agenda” said Kristie Canegallo, White House deputy chief of staff for implementation. The remaining are health care, benefits, economic opportunity and resources.

Obama will announce the need to better provide educational opportunities for veterans and their families, Muñoz said.

All 50 states as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico will provide “recently transitioning veterans and their dependents” in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities.

Obama also will ask Congress to support a trio of bills to improve educational opportunities for veterans.

“Taken together, these pieces of legislation will really ensure that veterans have the opportunities and assistance they need to grow out economy, to advance their careers and to realize the American dream,” Muñoz said.

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will host a breakfast for veterans and their families Wednesday morning followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

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