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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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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