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Michelle Obama has been trying to end homelessness for veterans — and it’s working

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Michelle Obama has been working to get homeless veterans off the streets, and she’s confident that her success can provide a blueprint for helping other vulnerable groups.

“It is utterly unconscionable that people who fought for our country would ever have to sleep on the streets when they return home,” Obama told Vice.

The First Lady and Jill Biden set up a nationwide program, Joining Forces, five years ago to help veterans and their families gain access to public and private services to help them transition back to civilian life and face other challenges.

“I want to be clear that generally, our service members make smooth transitions back to civilian society – finding jobs, raising families, and establishing themselves as leaders in their workplaces and communities,” Obama said. “But there are folks who, understandably, struggle when they return home, and they deserve our unwavering support.”

About 11 percent of homeless Americans have served in the military, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, and most of those homeless veterans suffer from serious mental illness and substance abuse problems.

“The goal is to help people see mental health conditions as no different from physical health conditions,” Obama said. “Getting treatment for depression should have just as little stigma as getting treatment for a broken leg.”

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Obama said she’s proud Joining Forces has matched 1.5 million veterans and military spouses with jobs or job training, and she said the partnership can be copied to help end homelessness for other Americans.

“I want to emphasize the word ‘end,’ because that’s really our ultimate goal,” Obama said. “We know how to solve this problem – there are tried and true approaches that are working all across this country.”

Three cities — Las Vegas, Syracuse and Schenectady — and three states — Virginia, Connecticut and Delaware — have effectively ended homelessness among military veterans, thanks in part to Joining Forces.

“The beauty of these successes is that we’re showing that if we can end veteran homelessness, then we can end homelessness for other populations too – families, LGBT youth, senior citizens,” Obama said.

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The program has drawn praise from the military community, and former First Lady Laura Bush has campaigned for its continuation after the Obamas leave the White House, but President-elect Donald Trump hasn’t commented bout its future or his family’s non-legislative priorities.

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Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos’ Seattle suburb is running out of money thanks to lax taxation

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The government of one of America's richest zip codes may soon run out of money to keep the lights on.

CNBC reports that the small town of Medina, Washington will have a budget referendum in November to raise taxes and prevent a budget shortfall in the coming fiscal year.

The idea of Medina being cash-strapped seems counter-intuitive given that both Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos have houses there. What's more, Medina has an average home value of $2.77 million and a median household income of around $186,000.

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‘It can be a very rough river!’ Trump dismisses concerns about immigrants who drowned in Rio Grande

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday brushed aside questions about whether Americans should be concerned about an immigrant man who drowned along with his child while trying to cross the Rio Grande and enter the United States.

"It can be a very rough river," Trump said in explaining the immigrants' deaths.

He then went on to blame Democrats for the drowned immigrants on the grounds that changing asylum laws would purportedly deter people fleeing violence in their home countries from trying to enter the United States.

"That father, who probably was this wonderful guy with his daughter, things like that probably wouldn't happen [with different asylum laws]," he said.

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Google employees push San Francisco’s Pride Parade to exclude tech giant to protest hate speech online

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Nearly 100 Google employees asked the organizer's of the San Francisco Pride parade to ban the tech giant over its handling of hate speech online.

An online petition asked that Google be excluded from this weekend's event and removed as a sponsor of the parade, and employees sent a letter to event organizers explaining their frustration, reported Bloomberg.

“Whenever we press for change, we are told only that the company will ‘take a hard look at these policies,’” employees told the parade's board of directors. “But we are never given a commitment to improve, and when we ask when these improvements will be made, we are always told to be patient. We are told to wait."

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