Zero: 2016

Posted January 27, 2015

Feature from Community Solutions

At Community Solutions, we spent the past four years coordinating the 100,000 Homes Campaign, a Got Your 6 partner initiative that helped U.S. communities find permanent housing for more than 105,000 homeless Americans, including almost 32,000 veterans. But while the Campaign generated huge momentum in the fight to end veterans homelessness, which is down more than 30 percent since 2010, more than 40,000 veterans still call our nation’s streets home on any given night.

We know what works to end veteran homelessness– immediate access to permanent housing without preconditions– and we’ve proven that when communities work together, they can implement effective solutions quickly. Now, as a nation, we have a moral imperative to finish the job.

That’s why we’re excited about the upcoming launch of Zero: 2016, a rigorous follow-on to the 100,000 Homes Campaign designed to help a group of 60-70 communities do whatever it takes to end both chronic and veteran homelessness in the next two years.

Zero: 2016 communities will receive hands-on community coaching from our team, transparent data and performance management tools, and access to a shared online learning environment that will help them connect with and learn from one another. We expect to announce the communities that will participate early next month.

Getting to zero will be hard and will require a new level of commitment from all of us, but the key lesson of the 100,000 Homes Campaign is that we can end homelessness much faster by learning together as we go, rather than waiting for a perfect plan or perfect resources.

Got Your 6 fans can support this work by spreading the word that ending veteran homelessness is possible and demanding action in their communities. Despite massive progress across the country, too many people still assume that homelessness is a problem without a solution. This makes it easier to accept the status quo– in government, in local non-profits, and on the streets. The data makes clear that we know exactly how to solve veteran homelessness. All that’s left is to implement what we know at full scale.

Tell your friends that veteran homelessness is under 50,000 for the first time since we began counting–down more than 30% since 2010. Tell them that federally funded programs and locally driven solutions are working. Make sure they feel the urgency of the moment– we have a huge opportunity, and we can’t turn back now.

We believe veteran homelessness can be ended by December of 2015, and the President has pledged the nation to this task. We need public support and political will to get to zero, and that means YOU!