100,000 Homes Campaign announced that it had surpassed its goal to house 100,000 homeless Americans, including over 30,000 Veterans, one month ahead of its four-year deadline this July. 100,000 Homes Campaign Director Becky Kanis announced that the 238 communities who have joined the Campaign since July 2010 have permanently housed 101,628 Americans, including 31,171 Veterans. Participating communities worked with local VA branches and Veterans nonprofits to identify chronically homeless Veterans on the streets in need of permanent housing. Since 2010, Veteran homelessness has declined 24%.
Liana Downey & Associates, a strategic government advisory firm, estimated that this work will save taxpayers will $1.3 billion annually. The high dollar amount comes from the fact that chronically homeless individuals frequently use high-cost emergency services, like the ER. The public can save a lot of money by connecting these individuals to permanent housing with simple supportive services to help them remain housed.
The Campaign reported that their participant communities achieved success by doing four things differently:
- Get out early, identifying those experiencing homelessness in their community and build a file on the housing needs of these households.
- Use a Housing First model to prioritize the most vulnerable and chronically homeless households.
- Track and measure their progress each month using benchmarks to help meet the federal timelines for ending chronic and Veterans homelessness.
- Make the process faster and more easily navigated by those experiencing homelessness by drawing upon the data and streamlining processes.
Community Solutions, the New York-based nonprofit which coordinated the 100,000 Homes Campaign, will be launching a new national effort called Zero: 2016 in January. This new effort will build on the success of the 100,000 Homes Campaign by helping communities “get to zero” on chronic and Veteran homelessness.
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