It’s Raining Videos™ During A Twitter Storm™


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It's Raining Videos™

It’s Raining Videos™

 

Journeys to Australia

 

A documentary about the experiences of five remarkable young people who journeyed to Australia as refugees, fleeing conflict and persecution from various corners of the globe.

 

 

 

Friends Are Waiting”

 

 

 

Black Guy Breaks Into A Car

 

Is there a difference between a white guy trying to break into a car vs a black guy? Two guys test a well-known stereotype on the streets of Los Angeles.

Don’t forget to share and like this with your friends.

 

 

 

Post Maven Mars Orbit Insertion News Conference

 

 

 

NASA’s MAVEN orbiter aproaches Mars to study its atmosphere

 

 

 

Man Seen With Uva Student Faces Driving Charge

 

Published on Sep 21, 2014

A man seen with a University of Virginia student before she disappeared was being sought Sunday on arrest warrants charging him with reckless driving, police announced at a news conference. (Sept. 21)

 

 

 

Missing U-Va. student Hannah Graham’s father John Graham pleads for help

 

Published on Sep 21, 2014

Missing U-Va. student Hannah Graham’s parents appeared at a news conference Sunday. Graham’s father, John Graham, pleaded people to share information regarding his daughter who disappeared eight days ago in Charlottesville, Va

 

 

 

Massive climate rally in New York

 

Published on Sep 21, 2014

Hundreds of thousands attend the People’s Climate March in New York City – two days before the UN Climate Summit.

 

 

 

Voices From The Historic 300,000+ Strong ‘People’s Climate March’

 

Published on Sep 21, 2014

TRNN speaks to some of the hundreds of thousands of participants who marched Sunday to ask them their demands of the climate justice movement and leaders.

 

 

 

NRA News Commentators | Ep. 86: Nikki Turpeaux “Knowledge is Power”

 

 

Just so you can see what stupid looks like, and observe whats wrong with The United States Of AmeriKKKa.

 

 

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The MilitantNegro™ Potpourri


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President Obama Guidance & Schedule Sept. 20, 21, 2014 At Camp David

 

President Barack Obama is spending the weekend at Camp David.

 

On Saturday, the President has no public events scheduled and will remain overnight in Camp David with the First Family.

 

On Sunday, the President will return to the White House.  The arrival of Marine One at Joint Base Andrews and return to the White House will be covered by the in-town travel pool, and there are no public events scheduled.

 

US President Barack Obama holds his first Twitter Town Hall

 

Schedule for the Week of September 22, 2014

 

On Monday, the President will sign America’s Promise Summit Declaration at an event at the White House.

 

On Tuesday, the President and the First Lady will travel to New York City for the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). In the afternoon, the President will deliver remarks at the Climate Summit 2014. Afterward, the President will deliver remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative 2014 Annual Meeting. In the evening, the President will attend a DSCC event. Afterward, the President and First Lady will attend a reception for visiting Heads of State and Government. The President and First Lady will remain overnight in New York City.

 

On Wednesday, the President will address the United Nations General Assembly. The First Lady will also attend. In the afternoon, the President will meet with Sam Kutesa, President of the United Nations General Assembly. Afterward, the President will attend a luncheon hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Later in the afternoon, the President will chair a United Nations Security Council summit on foreign terrorist fighters. Afterward, the President will attend a meeting of the Open Government Partnership. The President and First Lady will remain overnight in New York City.

 

On Thursday, the President will deliver remarks at a United Nations meeting on the Ebola epidemic. In the afternoon, the President and First Lady will return to the White House.

 

On Friday, the President will deliver remarks at the Global Health Security Agenda Summit at the White House.

 

On Saturday, the President will deliver remarks at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 44th Annual Legislative Conference Phoenix Awards Dinner in Washington, DC.

 

 

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Weekly Address: The World is United in the Fight Against ISIL

 

“We will use our air power. We will train and equip our partners. We will advise and we will assist. And we’ll lead a broad coalition of nations who have a stake in this fight. This isn’t America vs. ISIL. This is the people of that region vs. ISIL. It’s the world vs ISIL.” —President Obama

 

 

 

Mensaje De La Casa Blanca

 

 

 

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Remarks by The First Lady at a Reach Higher “Prep” Rally

 

Published on Sep 9, 2014

As part of her Reach Higher initiative, the First Lady joined Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on his “Partners in Progress” Back to School Bus Tour event at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta. In 1924, Booker T. Washington High School became the first public high school for African-Americans in the state of Georgia, and Dr. Martin L. King Jr. is among its graduates.

 

 

 

9/19/14: White House Press Briefing Featuring NSA Susan Rice

 

 

 

President Obama & Vice President Biden Speaks at the Launch of the “It’s On Us” Campaign

 

Published on Sep 19, 2014

On September 19, 2014 in the East Room of the White House, President Obama delivered remarks to help launch “It’s On Us,” a campaign to end campus sexual assault.

 

 

 

CNN: White House fence jumper arrested on air

 

Published on Aug 2, 2011

CNN’s John King is interrupted on his live show when the Secret Service arrests a man for jumping the White House fence.

 

 

 

West Wing Week 09/19/14 or, “You guys aren’t normally this quiet are you?””

 

Published on Sep 19, 2014

This week, the President celebrated the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps, awarded the Medal of Honor to two American heroes, detailed U.S. efforts to combat the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa at the CDC in Atlanta, spoke to the troops at MacDill Air Force Base about our strategy against ISIL before returning to meet with the Ukraninan President. That’s September 12 to 19 or “You guys aren’t usually this quiet are you?”

 

 

 

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“FLORIDA MASS SHOOTING MUST BE A CALL TO ACTION,” SAYS EVERTYOWN FOR GUN SAFETY AFTER EIGHT PEOPLE ARE KILLED

 

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Tonight’s Murder-Suicide Mass Shooting Killing Six Children and Two Adults in Bell, FL was the 111th since 2009

 

See Everytown’s Full Analysis of Mass Shootings in America Here

 

In response to reports of a murder-suicide where it has been reported that a grandfather with a prior criminal record that should have prohibited him from possessing firearms killed six grandchildren ranging in age from 3 months to 10 years old and his daughter in Bell, FL, Everytown for Gun Safety calls on elected officials pass stronger gun laws. The shooter also reportedly previously killed one of his sons while in illegal possession of a firearm.

 

Employing a widely-used definition of mass shooting that is drawn from the FBI, a recent report from Everytown for Gun Safety provides a comprehensive analysis of incidents in which four or more people were murdered with guns since 2009. Among the findings is the fact that mass shootings have a disproportionate impact on women – whereas women make up only 13 percent of total gun homicide victims, they make up 51 percent of mass shooting victims.

 

STATEMENT FROM JOHN FEINBLATT, PRESIDENT, EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with this family, which is the latest ravaged by America’s gun violence epidemic. While details are still unfolding, one thing we know for sure is that the best way to prevent mass shootings is to keep dangerous people and domestic abusers from getting guns in the first place. At least 42 percent of mass shooting perpetrators possessed their guns illegally — as this man reportedly did — because they were felons, domestic abusers, or were otherwise prohibited under federal law from having guns. Our goal is saving lives from gun violence and as Americans we should all be able to agree that the way we’ll do that is through better gun laws.”

 

STATEMENT FROM SHANNON WATTS, FOUNDER, MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:

“Like all of us watching this news unfold tonight, my heart breaks for the family and community that now must cope with the loss of six children and a mother today due to gun violence. The tragic story coming out of Bell, Florida, is yet another clarion call to action: gun violence is an American problem that can, and does, effect every town, every day. As Richard Martinez, father of a UCSB shooting victim, said, ‘We don’t have to live this way.’ Our leaders can and must do more — now — to prevent mass shootings in America. Let this horrific shooting result in tangible action, and not simply serve as another painful reminder of the gun violence epidemic that is ravaging our country.”

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND ABOUT THE BELL, FL SHOOTING:
  • A gunman, identified as Don Spirit, reportedly shot and killed his daughter and her six children before killing himself. Spirit was a convicted felon who shot and killed his son in a 2001 hunting accident.
  • The Gilchrest County Sheriff’s office received a 911 call from the gunman at around 4pm today. He made threats to himself and his family.
  • The shooting occurred in the gunman’s residence, but it’s unclear if the victims lived in the home as well.
  • Police had been called to the home in the past for a range of issues, but Sheriff Robert Schultz did not provide specifics. He did confirm that the gunman had a criminal record.
  • The children ranged in age from 3 months to about 10 years old. All the victims likely died before police arrived.
  • Bell is located in Gilchrist County, about 30 miles west of Gainesville. The town has a population of about 350 people
ABOUT EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY

Everytown for Gun Safety is a movement of Americans fighting for common-sense policies that will reduce gun violence and save lives. Everytown is the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than two million supporters including moms, mayors, survivors, and everyday Americans who are fighting for reforms that respect the Second Amendment and protect people. At the core of Everytown are Mayors Against Illegal Guns, founded in 2006 by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Boston Mayor Tom Menino, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a grassroots movement of American mothers founded on the day after Newtown. Learn more atwww.everytown.org and follow us @Everytown

ABOUT MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA

Much like Mothers Against Drunk Driving was created to change laws regarding drunk driving, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was created to build support for common-sense gun reforms. The nonpartisan grassroots movement of American mothers is demanding new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our children and families. Since its inception after the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting, Moms Demand Action has established a chapter in every state of the country and is part of Everytown for Gun Safety along with Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Everytown is the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than two million supporters including moms, mayors, survivors, and everyday Americans who are fighting for reforms that respect the Second Amendment and protect people. For more information or to get involved visit www.momsdemandaction.org. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MomsDemandAction or on Twitter at @MomsDemand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Twitter Storm™


 

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Ferguson Missouri Police Gun Down 18 Year Old Mike Brown, Shooting Him TEN Times…For Shoplifting Candy.


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The details are sketchy, but not the results.

 

Witnesses tell News 4 that Mike Brown, 18, was unarmed and had his hands in the air when he was shot multiple times by the a Ferguson police officer. Police have not confirmed those claims and they have not released any details of the incident other than an officer was involved and that he has been placed on administrative leave.

 

Dorian Johnson tells News 4 he was walking with Brown when the officer confronted them and drew his weapon.

 

Ferguson police gunned down 17 year old Michael Brown as he and a friend walked down the street. A witness stated police pulled up to the two boys and said “Get the fuck on the sidewalk”. According to a witness police grabbed the kid around the neck and repeatedly shot the unarmed kid

Ferguson police gunned down 17 year old Michael Brown as he and a friend walked down the street. A witness stated police pulled up to the two boys and said “Get the fuck on the sidewalk”. According to a witness police grabbed the kid around the neck and repeatedly shot the unarmed kid

 

“He (the officer) shot again and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air,” said Dorian Johnson, a friend Brown’s. “He started to get down and the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots.”

 

St. Louis County NAACP President Esther Haywood told News 4 that Brown was shot once by the officer and then an additional nine times as he lie in the street. Police have not confirmed that account.

 

“He was a good kid. He didn’t live around here,” said Desuirea Harris, grandmother of the victim. “He came to visit me and they did that to him for no reason.”

 

Ferguson Police called for assistance from St. Louis County and nearby municipalities as large, emotional crowds gathered at the scene. In all more than 100 officers from 15 departments responded to the area. Tactical teams in riot gear were also called in. A section of West Florissant Avenue near the scene was closed for a time on Saturday evening.

 

Through the afternoon and evening some among the crowds were yelling profanities at police demanding justice. At one point gun shots rang out in the area as investigators gathered evidence. That prompted numerous police canine units to move in and move the crowds back. At least one trash dumpster was set on fire.

 

The St. Louis County NAACP says they have launched their own an investigation and plan to “get to the bottom of what has occurred and will work to ensure that justice is served for all victims involved.”

 

Haywood also released a statement saying: “We are hurt to hear that yet another teenaged boy has been slaughtered by law enforcement especially in light of the recent death of Eric Garner in New York who was killed for selling cigarettes. We plan to do everything within our power to ensure that the Ferguson Police Department as well as the St. Louis County Police Department releases all details pertinent to the shooting. We strongly encourage residents to stay away from the crime scene so that no additional citizens are injured. I have spoken directly with St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, and I am confident that both he and his department will ensure that the investigation is conducted properly and that all details are kept transparent.”

 

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson says St. Louis County Police have taken over the investigation and the officer involved in the shooting has been put on paid administrative leave.

 

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson will hold a news conference tomorrow at 10AM.

 

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18 year-old Michael Brown was scheduled to begin attending college on Monday.

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Related Reading:

 

Are Black Lives Important In A Caucasian World Of “White Privilege”?

 

TheObamaCrat SoapBox™: NObody Black Is Safe.

 

 

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FERGUSON, MISSOURI POLICE MURDERS TEEN AFTER THEFT

 

Published on Aug 9, 2014

Ferguson police kills unarmed teen after shoplifting at the gas station. Shot 10 times……riot breaks out.

 

 

 

 

 

Heavy police presence in Ferguson after fatal officer-involved shooting

 

Published on Aug 9, 2014

News 4’s Cory Stark who is live on the scene, said he saw a man lying dead in the street at Coppercreek. News 4’s Cory Stark who is live on the scene, said he saw a man lying dead in the street at Coppercreek. News 4’s Cory Stark who is live on the scene, said he saw a man lying dead in the street at Coppercreek.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missouri Crowd After Shooting, Chants: ‘Kill the police’

 

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — A large crowd of angry residents confronted police officers Saturday afternoon, yelling such things as “kill the police” after an officer fatally shot a male in a St. Louis-area neighborhood.

 

Officer Brian Schellman, spokesman for the St. Louis County Police Department, said “a couple hundred” people came out of apartment buildings after an officer with the Ferguson Police Department shot and killed the male. Schellman did not identify the person who was shot or say what prompted the shooting.

 

Ferguson shooting victim identified as Michael Brown, 18, a 2014 graduate of Normandy High School .

 

People marching to the #Ferguson Police Dept headquarters following the killing of a 17-year-old boy.

People marching to the #Ferguson Police Dept headquarters following the killing of a 17-year-old boy.

 

John Gaskin, a member of the St. Louis County NAACP, called on the FBI’s assistance was needed “to protect the integrity of the investigation.”

 

“With the recent events of a young man killed by the police in New York City and with Trayvon Martin and with all the other African-American young men that have been killed by police officers … this is a dire concern to the NAACP, especially our local organization,” Gaskin said.

 

Gaskin said officials in the organization spoke with St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, who told them the male was a teenager and had been shot twice.

 

The St. Louis County NAACP plans to get to the bottom of the shooting of a young teenager in ferguson by a police officer!

 

Schellman declined to give any information about the male who was shot, including his age or race, because police were still trying to notify relatives.

 

After the shooting, some people yelled threats toward the police, and officers said they thought they heard gunshots, Schellman said. There were no reports of additional injuries, he said.

 

After the crowd gathered, police at the scene called for about 60 other police units to respond to the area in Ferguson, a city of about 21,000 residents located a few miles north of downtown St. Louis. According to the U.S. Census Bureau from 2012, about two-thirds of the residents are black.

 

Police have brought out the large gear in #Ferguson.

Police have brought out the large gear in #Ferguson.

 

Schellman said the crowd was under control by about 5 p.m. and several of the additional officers had left the area.

 

Gaskin said the angry crowd was reacting to a “trauma.”

 

“Anytime you have this type of event that’s taken place, emotions are going to run high,” he said. “But for 600 people to gather around an area to see where a man is lying in the street, that means something happened that should have not happened.”

 

The police officer who killed Mike Brown has been put on paid administrative leave.

 

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Breaking news! 18 year old shot 10 times by officer

 

North St. Louis County in an area known as Ferguson there has apparently been an officer involved shooting of a 17 year old unarmed African American male. The young man was shot 10 times reports are varying… One says he was returning from the store another says he was on his way to the store.

 

There are crowds of people who have congregated….  police from St. Louis County are urging people to stay away from the area. I will post more as information becomes available.

 

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3:54 PM PT: The reports include an accusation that the unarmed young man stole candy from a Quick Trip prior to being shot. Most news organizations are concentrating on the 100 or so people who have congregated to protest the police shooting.

 

4:39 PM PT: I am honored to be on the recommend list but I am horrified it is because of such a tragedy. I do not know the identity of the young man whose life was senselessly taken. My prayers go out to his family and friends. I am having problems getting in touch with friends in the St. Louis North County area so my information is still sketchy. I will continue to update as information is made available.

 

7:13 PM PT: I will check back in the morning. I am anxious to find out if/how this will be covered by the media. I pray for peace in St. Louis and my condolences go out to Mike Brown’s family and friends.

 

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Jueseppi B. The Militant Negro

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First Lady Michelle LaVaughn Obama On Veteran Homelessness.


The Militant Negro

The Militant Negro

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Op-ed by First Lady Michelle Obama on McClatchy: Let’s end veteran homelessness once and for all

The following op-ed by First Lady Michelle Obama appeared last night across McClatchy platforms.

 

Veterans Homelessness.

 

Let’s end veteran homelessness once and for all

 

At the beginning of June, 85 mayors, governors and county officials from across the country – and across the political spectrum – signed on to the Mayors Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness. Today, we’re announcing that in the two months since then, 97 more state and local leaders have signed on – meaning that a total of 182 local leaders have pledged to end homelessness among the veterans in their communities by the end of 2015.

 

I know that might sound like a pipe dream. After all, veteran homelessness is a problem we’ve faced for decades – in fact, almost 90 percent of all homeless veterans served prior to 9/11. And as a country, we’ve never been able to rally the resources and the public will to get all of our veterans off the streets and into stable housing.

 

So why do all these state and local leaders believe that things are any different today? The answer to that question is simple: because today – thanks to federal, state and local leadership and the determined, daily work of advocates on the ground – we’re finally seeing that ending veteran homelessness is not just something we should strive to achieve – it’s something we actually can.

 

For example, in recent months, Phoenix and Salt Lake City effectively ended chronic homelessness among their veterans. New Orleans is on track to end all veteran homelessness within the next six months. Last year, New York City helped more than 2,000 veterans get into safe and stable housing. St. Paul and Minneapolis have cut veteran homelessness in half over the last five years, and between the two cities there are just 18 veterans left on the streets.

 

Any number of veterans left out in the cold is too many, but those numbers show us that even in some of our largest metropolitan areas, ending veteran homelessness is eminently achievable.

 

My husband has believed this from the moment he took office. That’s why he not only vowed to end veteran homelessness, he coupled that pledge with record funding and innovative strategies to get it done. We know that through solutions like “housing first” – an evidence-based strategy to get our veterans into permanent housing before tackling issues like mental health, substance abuse or employment – we can not only do right by our veterans but also save taxpayer money. Quite simply, it’s cheaper to pay someone’s rent than to pay for hospital bills, law enforcement and so many other services if they’re living on the street.

 

By employing that strategy, even in the midst of a historic recession, we’ve seen tremendous progress. Since 2008, we’ve housed more than 73,000 veterans through the HUD-VASH program, which provides housing vouchers to help homeless veterans pay for permanent, stable housing. And last year alone, under a program called Supportive Services for Veteran Families, we kept more than 60,000 veterans and their family members from falling into homelessness. Next year, we expect that number to grow to over 100,000.

 

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But we know that this problem can’t be solved by Washington alone. It takes local leaders to implement community-wide plans. It takes advocates and service providers who know our veterans by name and can connect them with the services and support that they need. And it takes folks from all across the country making their voices heard and dedicating their time and energy to help these veterans find a place to call home.

 

So if your mayor hasn’t signed on to the mayors challenge, light up their phone lines and ask them why not. If you’ve got a free minute, contact a local organization in your neighborhood and ask when you can volunteer or where you can donate.

 

Our veterans have given so much to this country – time and again, with their service and sacrifice, they’ve shown us who they are. Now it’s up to the rest of us to show who we are. It’s up to us to show these veterans we’ve got their backs and end veteran homelessness once and for all.

 

Michelle Obama is First Lady of the U.S.

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Remarks by the First Lady at the National Alliance to End Homelessness Annual Conference

The Renaissance Hotel
Washington, D.C.

12:56 P.M. EDT

 

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MRS. OBAMA:  Thank you, everyone.  (Applause.)  Good afternoon.  Thank you so much.  Well, please, rest yourselves.  (Laughter.)  Good afternoon.

 

Let us start by thanking Leon for sharing his story and for everything he’s done for our country.  (Applause.)  We are so proud of men and women like Leon who are everywhere in this country.

 

I also want to thank everyone from Friendship Place for lifting up so many veterans like Leon here in D.C.  I also want to recognize Nan Roman and everyone here at the National Alliance to End Homelessness for hosting us here at your annual conference.

 

But most of all, I want to thank all of you -– the leaders who are fighting every day to end homelessness in communities across this country.  The work you are doing is so critically important.  You are helping folks meet one of their most basic human needs.  You’re making sure our communities reflect our shared values of compassion, empathy, and service.  And you’re doing the hard work to show that here in America, we take care of our own.  (Applause.)

 

So given your extraordinary contributions, it is disappointing that you often don’t get the support, respect, and appreciation you need to get the job done.  (Applause.)  Whether you’re running a shelter, or raising money for a community organization, or managing a citywide anti-homelessness campaign, you all are working long hours to keep it all together.  You’re fighting each year for every single penny in your budgets.  But inevitably the cuts come and it’s up to you to figure out how to salvage what’s left of your programs.

 

And day after day, as you fight for more resources, you encounter too many folks who don’t take you seriously because they don’t believe that we’ll ever truly be able to solve this problem; or even worse, because they feel like our homeless brothers and sisters have brought these problems on themselves.

 

Yet, when so many others accept homelessness as a fact of life, you refuse to give up.  When they scoff at your idealism, you show them the data and evidence that prove that we can solve this problem.  And when they still throw up their hands and walk away from this challenge, you roll up your sleeves and get back to work.

 

So today, before I say anything else, I just want to say thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

 

Thank you for taking that gay teenager whose parents kicked him out of the house.  Thank you for connecting that low-income family with resources that keep them from being evicted.  And thank you for showing veterans like Leon that the country they served still has their backs.

 

And that’s actually — yes, thank you.  (Applause.)  I don’t know if you hear that enough.  But it’s veterans like Leon that’s actually what I’d like to focus on my discussion with you today on.  I’d like to talk about how we’re serving our veterans in this country, particularly when it comes to the issue of homelessness.

As you know, as First Lady, I’ve been blown away by the stories of courage and selflessness that define our veterans and their families.  I have met wounded warriors who have lost legs to an IED, and then fight through recovery to run marathons.  I’ve met veterans who have run into sniper fire and explosions to save their friends.  Every single time they’re asked, these men and women answer the call and give this country everything they’ve got.

 

And so when I hear that these folks don’t even have a place to go when it rains, like all of you, I am outraged.  And 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.

 

Now, I always try to be very clear that the vast majority of our veterans are tremendously resilient and never experience homelessness.  They transition back in good health and good spirits and go on to build successful careers and strong families.  But 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.

 

But that moral and patriotic duty is only part of the reason why ending veteran homelessness is so critical.  As we all know, ending homelessness for our veterans can also be a crucial first step — a proof point — to show that we can end homelessness for everyone in this country, too.  (Applause.)

 

Because time and time again, we’ve seen how broader social change can be triggered by our military.  In the 1940s, we started the school lunch program, because too many of our young people were too malnourished to serve in the military when they were drafted.  During the fight to end segregation, folks were arguing that if our troops could bleed together on the battlefield, well then certainly they could sit next to each other at the movies or a lunch counter.  (Applause.)  And today on mental health issues, we’re seeing that we can combat stigma and stimulate groundbreaking research by sharing the stories of our brave veterans.

 

And that kind of progress is possible when it comes to homelessness as well.  In fact, in Phoenix and Salt Lake City, they’ve already effectively ended chronic homelessness among their veterans.  (Applause.)  In New Orleans, they’re on track to end all veteran homelessness within the next six months.  (Applause.)  And as a nation, we’ve reduced veteran homelessness by 24 percent over the last three years under this administration.  (Applause.)

 

So today, thanks to federal action, local leadership and the hard work of folks like you, we are on the verge of making a major breakthrough on veteran homelessness and a breakthrough that could change the entire conversation about homelessness in this country.  So today, it’s more important than ever that we redouble our efforts, that we embrace the most effective strategies to end homelessness among our veterans once and for all.

 

And that’s what my husband has been doing since the day he took office.  When he became President, my husband vowed to put an end to veteran homelessness.  And over the past five years, he’s cut through red tape, directed record funding to veteran programs.  And together, we’ve made tremendous progress on this issue.

 

For example, many of you are familiar with the HUD-VASH voucher program.  Since 2008, we have housed more than 73,000 veterans using these vouchers.  (Applause.)  And that’s more than 40 times as many veterans as were housed since the program first began in the ‘90s.  And through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, last year alone we helped prevent more than 60,000 veterans and their family members from falling into homelessness.  And next year, we expect that number to grow to 100,000.  (Applause.)

 

So we are seeing that with enough resources and the right strategies — strategies like housing first, rapid rehousing — we can make huge amounts of progress in a very short period of time.  And leaders all across the country are seeing that too.  That’s why just last month, I was proud to host an event at the White House where a collection of 85 mayors, governors and county officials signed on to the mayors challenge to end homelessness among veterans by the end of 2015.  And that’s a huge deal.  It’s a huge deal.  (Applause.)

 

And today, I’m equally proud to announce that in the eight weeks since that event, 97 more city, state, and county leaders have signed on to that challenge.  That’s a total of 182 communities –- more than double our original number.  (Applause.) We even got Los Angeles on board, and they’ve got — (laughter) — and that’s important because they’ve got more than 6,000 homeless veterans in their city –- far more than any city in this country.

 

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But Mayor Garcetti in Los Angeles and leaders across the country are signing on to this pledge because they’ve seen the data and they know that they can create enough housing for every veteran.  And if a veteran does fall into homelessness, they’ll have systems in place to get those vets back into stable housing as quickly as possible.  That’s what it’s going to take to end veteran homelessness.  And that’s what these 182 communities are committing to do by the end of 2015.

 

But of course, I know, and these leaders know, and my husband knows that we will never be able to reach that goal without all of you.  Yes.  (Laughter and applause.)  We’re counting on you, because you all are the ones who know your communities inside and out.  You know your veterans by name.  You know their stories by heart.  You know the donors, the congregations, the community groups that you need to get engaged.  And perhaps most of all, you know the best ways to implement data-driven, cost-effective solutions that really work on the ground.

 

For example, after Hurricane Katrina, Volunteers of America of Greater New Orleans realized that their focus on sobriety programming wasn’t as effective as it could be.  So they shifted their focus to getting veterans into permanent housing as quickly as possible.  And in the last three years, they’ve already helped more than 400 veterans across the state of Louisiana.

 

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Yes!

 

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes, indeed!  (Applause.)  Indeed.  Nothing like a little competition.  (Laughter.)  I like that.

 

Now, down in Phoenix, United Methodist Outreach Ministries realized that providing short-term rental assistance for veterans was far more effective than placing them in temporary shelters.  And over the past five years, using this strategy, they’ve helped about 300 veterans get back on their feet.  (Applause.)

 

Those are just some examples of what it’s going to take to solve this problem –- community organizations reaching out person by person, family by family, until we reach all of our veterans and get them into housing.  And I want you to know that this administration is going to be with you every step of the way as you implement those best practices.  And our Joining Forces initiative is working hard to rally businesses, foundations to step up to support our homeless vets.

 

And we’re also calling on all Americans to find new ways that they can help folks like you on the ground, whether that’s as volunteers or donors or anything else.  Because in the end, as you all know so well, this issue isn’t just about data and budget proposals or long-term plans.  In the end, ending veteran homelessness is about people — it’s about connecting people to each other and to the resources they need.

 

And over the past few months, I’ve had a number of veterans who experienced homelessness that I’ve met, men and women who served this country bravely, but struggled when they came home.  One young woman named Jenn couldn’t shake memories from her time in Afghanistan and ended up living out of her car, abusing drugs, and unable to hold a job.  An Iraq veteran named Jim was dealing with post-traumatic stress.  He’d lose control of his emotions and soon enough, he had to move out of his house and he had nowhere to go.

 

And then there’s a man named Doran who served in Korea during the Vietnam War.  Now, Doran was in and out of homelessness for 30 years –- 30 years –- and he said that it got so bad that folks were throwing change at his feet in the street. But here’s the thing –- each of those veterans also had the strength to ask for help from their community, and organizations in their community responded by getting them into housing and then getting them the counseling and other resources that they needed.

 

So today, those three veterans are back on their feet, giving back to the communities and the organizations that helped them.  Doran is a case manager helping other homeless veterans.  (Applause.)  Jim manages a 48-bed veterans housing facility.  And the young woman, Jenn, Jenn is a nurse who spends her free time now volunteering for organizations that she credited with saving her life.  (Applause.)  That’s the power of all of you in this room.

 

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You all did that.  That’s your work.  You all don’t just see statistics.  You don’t just see folks sleeping on park benches.  You see the potential that lies in every single one of our homeless brothers and sisters.  And you work day after day, night after night, to help them bring that potential to life.

 

Thanks to your work over the years, we’ve made such tremendous progress for our veterans and so many others.  And now, we can see the finish line.  And if we achieve our goal, if we end homelessness for our veterans, then we’ll show everyone in this country that we can also do it for all those families shuttling from motel to motel, for all those LGBT teens and for every single person experiencing homelessness throughout our country.

 

That has been this organization’s goal since it formed more than a quarter century ago.  And today, we are so close to this major milestone for our veterans.  All we have to do is finish the job.

 

So for you all, here’s an assignment.  (Laughter.)  If your mayor isn’t signed up yet for the mayors challenge, then light up their phone until they get on board.  And if you have any questions on whether or not we can get this done, I want you to just look to the success stories of many of the organizations and communities represented in this room today.  Together, you all are showing that if we work hard enough and smart enough, we can end homelessness for our veterans once and for all.  And if we do that, we show that eventually we can finish the job for everyone else, too.

 

So let me end as I began — by saying thank you.  Thank you for everything you’ve done.  Thank you for everything you’ll do in the months and years ahead to help us reach this goal.  I appreciate you as your First Lady.  I am grateful to all of you, which is why I’m here.  And I will continue to be here with Joining Forces.

 

So I hope you all have a rip-roaring time at the rest of your conference.  (Laughter.)  You guys, keep up the great work.  God bless.  And I’ll come down and shake a few hands.

 

Thank you.  (Applause.)

 

END
1:14 P.M. EDT

 

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