IMPACT
10/17/2014 09:39 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Austin Commits To Ending Vet Homelessness By 2015, Joins Growing List Of Other Cities

Buildings stand in the skyline of Austin, Texas,. U.S., on Friday, June 6, 2014. Localities in Texas, home to seven of the na
Buildings stand in the skyline of Austin, Texas,. U.S., on Friday, June 6, 2014. Localities in Texas, home to seven of the nation's 15 fastest-growing cities, are bearing the financial burden as the state gains 1,000 residents a day. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The capital of Texas has a bold, new goal regarding veteran homelessness, and they have about 14 months to achieve it.

On Wednesday, Austin became the latest major U.S. city to pledge an end to veteran homelessness by 2015, KVUE News reported. Mayor Lee Leffingwell announced that, by pulling resources together with local organizations dedicated to the cause, the city will aim to have zero homeless vets on its streets by the end of 2015.

The goal goes hand-in-hand with Michelle Obama's Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness -- an initiative launched in June that encourages local efforts across the country to conquer the crisis by the end of next year. So far, about 225 communities have taken the pledge -- including Chicago and Los Angeles -- according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

"As a veteran myself, and as an American, I believe we owe a debt to those brave men and women, frankly a debt that can never be repaid," Mayor Leffingwell said during the announcement, KVUE News noted.

According to data collected in a January 2014 survey by the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO), there were 1,987 homeless individuals in Austin, and 176 of them were veterans. The figure marks significant progress, as KVUE News reported, as Austin saw the number of homeless veterans drop 66 percent since 2011.

Similar progress has been tracked nationally as well. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) announced in August that there's been a nearly 40 percent drop in the number of veterans sleeping on the street since 2010.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

  • 1 First and foremost, Kerbey Lane's queso is not "just melted cheese."
    <a href="http://www.kerbeylanecafe.com/" target="_hplink"><em>Kerbey Lane</em></a>
    revrev/Flickr
  • 2 No one can make pad thai as fast as Madam Mam's can.
    <a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/madam-mams-austin-2" target="_hplink"><em>Madam Mam's</em></a>
    jeffk/Flickr
  • 3 It's not uncommon to write your will on the napkin while finishing up a Gourdough's doughnut (especially if it's the Flying Pig).
    <a href="http://www.gourdoughs.com/" target="_hplink"><em>Gourdough's</em></a>
    Andrew Huff/Flickr
  • 4 If you want a Franklin's brisket sandwich for lunch, you'd better show up at 9am.
    <a href="https://franklinbarbecue.com/" target="_hplink"><em>Franklin Barbecue</em></a>
    jeffcutler/Flickr
  • 5 Before the cleanse craze, juicing helped keep Austin weird.
    <a href="http://www.juicelandaustin.com/home" target="_hplink"><em>JuiceLand</em></a>
    Twitter/@badgalmeeshy
  • 6 Nothing cures a hangover better than breakfast tacos at Juan In A Million...
    ...and <a href="http://www.austinchronicle.com/best-of-austin/year:2001/poll:critics/category:food/juan-mesa-of-juan-in-a-mil
  • 7 "Vegan" does not equal "diet food."
    <a href="http://www.redrabbitbakery.com/" target="_hplink"><em>Red Rabbit Bakery</em></a>
    tastytouring/Flickr
  • 8 Tiff's Treats are perfect for finals, midterms, breakups, passing (or failing) an exam, sick days or movie nights. Basically, Tiff's Treats are perfect anytime.
    <a href="http://www.cookiedelivery.com/" target="_hplink"><em>Tiff's Treats</em></a>
    cote/Flickr
  • 9 There's a limit on Trudy's Mexican Martinis for a reason.
    <a href="http://www.trudys.com/" target="_hplink"><em>Trudy's</em></a>
    khowaga1/Flickr
  • 10 You can totally have a fantastic meal in a gas station...
    <a href="http://www.rudysbbq.com/page/location/name/bbq-austin" target="_hplink"><em>Rudy's</em></a>
    cogdogblog/Flickr
  • 11 ...or in a parking lot.
    <a href="http://torchystacos.com/" target="_hplink"><em>Torchy's Tacos</em></a>
    tomis b/Flickr
  • 12 Whenever someone else is paying for your dinner, you suggest Uchi.
    <a href="http://uchiaustin.com/" target="_hplink"><em>Uchi</em></a>
    Gandhu & Sarah/Flickr
  • 13 Your drink somehow feels stronger when they're playing your song on the juke box at Hole In The Wall.
    <a href="http://www.holeinthewallaustin.com/" target="_hplink"><em>Hole In The Wall</em></a>
    Bonita Sarita/Flickr
  • 14 If you don't order fries at Hyde Park Bar & Grill, you're doing it wrong.
    <a href="http://hpbng.com/" target="_hplink"><em>Hyde Park Bar & Grill</em></a>
    osunick/Flickr
  • 15 Wooing someone is exponentially easier while gazing at Lake Austin and drinking hot cocoa at Mozart's.
    <a href="http://www.mozartscoffee.com/" target="_hplink"><em>Mozart's Coffee Roasters & Bakery</em></a>
    philnicholson/Flickr
  • 16 If the brisket at The Salt Lick isn't worth a 30-minute drive, we don't know what is.
    <a href="http://www.saltlickbbq.com/" target="_hplink"><em>The Salt Lick</em></a>
    hey tiffany!/Flickr
  • 17 Lustre Pearl's "Long Hair Don't Care" (shot of whiskey + a Lone Star tallboy) is the best deal in town. Plus, the hula hoops and ping pong tables can be enjoyed for free.
    <a href="http://lustrepearlaustin.com/" target="_hplink"><em>Lustre Pearl</em></a>
    cheri lucas./Flickr
  • 18 If you're going to write a novel, you should probably do it at Quack's while eating a cupcake.
    <a href="http://quacksbakery.com/" target="_hplink"><em>Quack's Bakery</em></a>
    Rachel from Cupcakes Take the Cake/Flickr
  • 19 Breakfast at Magnolia Cafe should never be eaten during normal breakfast hours.
    <a href="http://themagnoliacafe.com/" target="_hplink"><em>Magnolia Cafe</em></a>
    1lenore/Flickr
  • 20 Go ahead and order a veggie burger at P. Terry's. No judgement here.
    <a href="http://www.pterrys.com/" target="_hplink"><em>P. Terry's</em></a>
    VietNinjaXTC/Flickr
  • 21 It's entirely worth it to squeeze in amongst the frat dudes at Fricano's Deli on a Saturday afternoon for an epic sandwich.
    <a href="http://fricanosdeli.com/" target="_hplink"><em>Fricano's Deli</em></a>
    tastytouring/Flickr
  • 22 Never go to Home Slice hungry -- prepare to wait for at least an hour.
    <a href="https://www.homeslicepizza.com/" target="_hplink"><em>Home Slice Pizza</em></a>
    Nick Sherman/Flickr
  • 23 This should go without saying, but The Mighty Cone sells pure, fried joy.
    <a href="http://www.mightycone.com/" target="_hplink"><em>The Mighty Cone</em></a>
    mootown/Flickr
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