On June 4, 2014, Michelle Obama issues a call to action for state and municipal leaders: to end veteran homeless by the end of 2015.

Early last summer, First Lady Michelle Obama made a call to action. She asked state and municipal leaders to join her in an effort to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. It's called the Mayors Challenge and advocates say Colorado Springs could join other cities -- like New Orleans and Houston -- in declaring what they call "functional zero" among homeless veterans. 

"Functional zero says that when someone is homeless, or when someone is in danger of homelessness, that we know where to send them and we know how to [offer] housing and help them get back on their feet,"  Craig Schlattmann, program manager for Homes for All Veterans, says. 

Homes for All Veterans is a program of the Colorado nonprofit Rocky Mountain Human Services and funded by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. 

The hope is that no veteran should have to live on the streets, he adds, and if homelessness does occur, it should be "brief, rare and nonrecurring." 

Andy Phelps, the volunteer coordinator for Rocky Mountain Human Services, gives a homeless man a pair of socks while making the rounds in downtown Colorado Springs with volunteers Cole Allgeier, right, and Kyle Cox March 24, 2105.

(Courtesy Christian Murdock/The Gazette)

Schlattmann --  a veteran -- spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner. Jesse James, 21, joined them and shared how he ended up living in his car after the Army discharged him.

Click the audio above to listen to the full interview.

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