Homeless veterans now have a place to live in these converted motels.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti made a bold promise in 2014 when he pledged to provide accommodation for all the city’s homeless veterans by the end of the next calendar year.

Shortly after making the promise, it was clear that the ambitious timeline, though admirable, wasn’t feasible. Los Angeles suffers from a homelessness epidemic, and even with a concerted effort by the government, the issue plaguing disenfranchised veterans would take longer to solve.

However, the city and charitable groups such as Step Up, which has been tackling this very issue for years, didn’t get discouraged. They got creative instead.


During the evolution of the Los Angeles cityscape, many once-viable motels and lodges have fallen into disrepair and abandonment. Seeing these structures as yet another opportunity, Step Up began transforming one such property, utilizing civic incentives.

Images via Step Up.

Not only does Step Up’s new Hollywood facility give shelter to displaced veterans, but it also provides humanitarian services ranging from psychiatric care to job search assistance. Further, thanks to vouchers from the Department of Veterans Affairs, those placed in the new projects may reside there for up to 15 years free of charge.

As a result of this practice and other efforts, the number of homeless veterans since Garcetti’s decree has fallen from roughly 4,362 to 3,071 as of January 2017.

With 500 new units in the pipeline, as well as $138 million in city assistance to combat homelessness, it appears that dedication and some creative solutions may help Los Angeles win its battle against homelessness.

Already, more new projects are underway, and with groups like the Skid Row Housing Trust focusing on downtown homelessness, the problem may not be solved, but L.A. is taking great steps forward.

This story originally appeared on GOOD.

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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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via Twins Trust / Twitter

Twins born with separate fathers are rare in the human population. Although there isn't much known about heteropaternal superfecundation — as it's known in the scientific community — a study published in The Guardian, says about one in every 400 sets of fraternal twins has different fathers.

Simon and Graeme Berney-Edwards, a gay married couple, from London, England both wanted to be the biological father of their first child.

"We couldn't decide on who would be the biological father," Simon told The Daily Mail. "Graeme said it should be me, but I said that he had just as much right as I did."

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This election might be giving a lot of people stress, but it's also giving us memes. While Thursday's debate didn't have anything nearly as spectacular as the fly - which will now get a whole chapter in future history books just so there's enough room to cover even a fraction of the jokes – people were still able to have fun with it.

During the debate, Joe Biden accidentally misspoke and referred the Proud Boys as "poor boys." "He has made everything worse across the board. He said about the poor boys, the last time we were on stage here, he said 'I tell them to stand down and stand ready,'" Biden said during Thursday night's debate. "Come on. This guy is a dog whistle about as big as a foghorn," Biden said.

While the internet didn't pick up on that whole vintagey-sounding dog whistle/foghorn analogy, Twitter did go wild with Biden's "poor boy" moniker.

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