Bill Clinton photo

Remarks at the Blair Homeless Shelter

November 22, 1995

I'd like to just say one word, if I might. I want to say that Hillary and I came here to be with you at Thanksgiving and to celebrate Thanksgiving with our country because we wanted to thank the people who run this wonderful service here for their commitment, for their service.

I also want to say a word of thanks to my friend Henry Cisneros, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, because he put together a homeless initiative for the District of Columbia that helps this project and many others, because after I became President, I said I was just tired of seeing people on the street. I want us to do something to give people some hope, to give people a place to be.

And on this Thanksgiving Day, Mr. Mayor, I say again, we are honored to be citizens of the District of Columbia. We are honored to have the chance to be with you and to work with people in DC to try to deal with the problems here. We know we have a lot of challenges in dealing with homelessness, not the least of which is that the fastest growing group of homeless people are women and their children. And we've got to stay after this.

I'd like to say one other thing, too, on this Thanksgiving. Yesterday I made an announcement that an agreement for peace has been made in Bosnia. A lot of people today are asking questions about how it will all be implemented. I'd just like to ask you to think of one human fact. In that little country so much smaller than ours, in that little bitty country, there are one million homeless families because of that war. So I hope on this Thanksgiving we can help more of our own people to find homes and we can help them to go home.

Thank you, and God bless you all.

NOTE: The President spoke at 1:49 p.m. In his remarks, he referred to Mayor Marion Barry of the District of Columbia. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

William J. Clinton, Remarks at the Blair Homeless Shelter Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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