First lady expands effort to end vet homelessness

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First lady expands effort to end vet homelessness
US First Lady Michelle Obama (L) and former First Lady Laura Bush host 'Investing in Our Future' at the US - Africa Leaders Summit at the Kennedy Center August 6, 2014 in Washington, DC. The day-long symposium will bring together First Lady Michelle Obama, Mrs. Laura Bush, African first spouses from nearly 30 countries, leaders from non-governmental and non-profit organizations, private sector partners, and other leading experts.The symposium will highlight the important role first spouses play and will focus on the impact of investments in education, health, and economic development through public-private partnerships. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - APRIL 25: (L-R) U.S. first lady Michelle Obama; President Barack Obama, former first lady Barbara Bush, former President George H.W. Bush, former President George W. Bush and his wife former first lady Laura Bush attend the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Center April 25, 2013 in Dallas, Texas. The Bush library, which is located on the campus of Southern Methodist University, with more than 70 million pages of paper records, 43,000 artifacts, 200 million emails and four million digital photographs, will be opened to the public on May 1, 2013. The library is the 13th presidential library in the National Archives and Records Administration system. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama (R) and former US First Lady Laura Bush participate in the African First Ladies Summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on July 2, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama (L) and former First Lady Laura Bush host 'Investing in Our Future' at the US - Africa Leaders Summit at the Kennedy Center August 6, 2014 in Washington, DC. The day-long symposium will bring together First Lady Michelle Obama, Mrs. Laura Bush, African first spouses from nearly 30 countries, leaders from non-governmental and non-profit organizations, private sector partners, and other leading experts.The symposium will highlight the important role first spouses play and will focus on the impact of investments in education, health, and economic development through public-private partnerships. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama (L) and former First Lady Laura Bush host 'Investing in Our Future' at the US - Africa Leaders Summit at the Kennedy Center August 6, 2014 in Washington, DC. The day-long symposium will bring together First Lady Michelle Obama, Mrs. Laura Bush, African first spouses from nearly 30 countries, leaders from non-governmental and non-profit organizations, private sector partners, and other leading experts.The symposium will highlight the important role first spouses play and will focus on the impact of investments in education, health, and economic development through public-private partnerships. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama (R) and former US First Lady Laura Bush greet each other on July 2, 2013 as they arrive at the African First Ladies Summit in Dar es Salaam. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 6: Former first lady Laura Bush (C), U.S. first lady Michelle Obama (L) and journalist Cokie Roberts participate in a Spousal Symposium at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on August 6, 2014 in Washington, DC. The symposium, sponsored by first lady Michelle Obama and former first lady Laura Bush, focuses on the role the spouses of world leader's play and the impact of investments in education, health, and economic development through public-private partnerships. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 6: Former first lady Laura Bush (C) and U.S. first lady Michelle Obama (L) attend a Spousal Symposium at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on August 6, 2014 in Washington, DC. The symposium, sponsored by first lady Michelle Obama and former first lady Laura Bush, focuses on the role the spouses of world leader's play and the impact of investments in education, health, and economic development through public-private partnerships. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 6: Former U.S. President George W. Bush sits with the spouses of African leaders at a Spousal Symposium at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on August 6, 2014 in Washington, DC. The symposium, sponsored by first lady Michelle Obama and former first lady Laura Bush, focuses on the role the spouses of world leader's play and the impact of investments in education, health, and economic development through public-private partnerships. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
US first lady Michelle Obama (R) and former US first lady Laura Bush wait back stage before a panel discussion 'Investing in Our Future' at the US-Africa Leaders Summit at the Kennedy Center August 6, 2014 in Washington, DC. Michelle Obama and Laura Bush were joined by others to discuss women's issues and advancement in Africa. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama (R) and former US First Lady Laura Bush participate in the African First Ladies Summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on July 2, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
First lady Michelle Obama speaks at the 2014 National Conference on Ending Homelessness, part of the Joining Forces initiative, Thursday, July 31, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
President Barack Obama kisses first lady Michelle Obama, the host of the "Kids State Dinner” in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, July 18, 2014. The White House treated more than 50 kid chefs to a "state dinner." The children earned a seat at the table by whipping up mouth-watering yet healthy meals as part of a nationwide contest sponsored by the food magazine Epicurious and the Education and Agriculture departments. Some of the winning recipes will be served at the dinner hosted by first lady Michelle Obama. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
First lady Michelle Obama speaks at the Unite For Veterans Summit in Los Angeles on Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Her keynote address highlighted the importance of assistance for veterans as they leave military service. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 6: Former first lady Laura Bush participates in a Spousal Symposium at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on August 6, 2014 in Washington, DC. The symposium, sponsored by first lady Michelle Obama and former first lady Laura Bush, focuses on the role the spouses of world leader's play and the impact of investments in education, health, and economic development through public-private partnerships. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - APRIL 10: First Lady Laura Bush (C) greets the Rev. Jesse Jackson as she takes her seat to listen to her husband former President George W. Bush address a private gathering in the LBJ Library Atrium on April 10, 2014 in Austin, Texas. The summit is marking the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Civil Rights Act legislation, with U.S. President Barack Obama making the keynote speech on April 10. (Photo by Ralph Barrera-Pool/Getty Images)
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By STACY A. ANDERSON

WASHINGTON (AP) - First lady Michelle Obama says the statistic that the U.S. has more than 58,000 homeless veterans is "a stain on the soul of this nation," as the government expands its initiative for affordable housing for service members.

She announced Thursday nearly 100 local leaders have pledged this month to end homelessness among veterans in their communities by the end of 2015 as a part of the Mayors Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness.

Mrs. Obama said the "idea that anyone who has worn our country's uniform spends their nights sleeping on the ground should horrify us" and it's all Americans' duty to end veterans homelessness, addressing the 2014 National Conference on Ending Homelessness.

More than 80 mayors, governors and county officials had already committed to the pledge in June.

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