White House cites progress in VA improvements


The White House said Tuesday that its efforts to improve the lives of veterans are bearing fruit, and cited more hiring at the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs as evidence, along with signs that its initiative to end homelessness among veterans is making progress.

In a statement timed for Veterans Day, the Obama administration said it would release a survey next week showing that nationally, homelessness among veterans is down 36 percent since 2010. Officials credited its "opening doors" plan with helping to move the numbers in the right direction.

That initiative involved a challenge from First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, Vice President Joe Biden's wife, to the mayors of major cities to do more to house homeless vets. Since then, more than 800 municipal officials have pledged to end veteran homelessness, officials said, and some cities like New Orleans, New York, Las Vegas and Houston, and entire states like Virginia, have said they have ended homelessness.

Despite that progress, the White House said its work isn't done.

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