About one week ago, the 100,000 Homes Campaign crossed the threshold of 21,000 people housed, making them more than one fifth of the way to reaching their goal of helping communities house 100,000 people by July of 2014.
Indianapolis, a location that first joined the movement in July, housed five people with the help of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, the organization leading the local effort, and pushed the campaign over the 21,000 mark.
“We are starting to feel the drum beat of this movement,” said Jake Maguire, communications director for the campaign. “More and more communities are putting consistent numbers on the board. I think we’re beginning to reach a tipping point that illustrates that ending homelessness is possible. There is no longer any excuse for not ending this problem quickly.”
As of Oct. 23, 21,629 people from communities across the country were housed by communities enrolled in the campaign. The model involves building a local team, clarifying the demand in the area, lining up housing supply, moving people into housing and helping them stay housed. Across the nation, 169 communities are involved and each month, they are housing roughly 1,000 people.
“Every time we surpass another thousand people housed, we see it as a really significant milestone,” said Maguire. “And 22,000 isn’t too far away. We seem to be hitting milestones faster and faster – that’s the best indication that we are making progress.”
Jessica Marcus, quality assurance coordinator for the campaign, said reaching the 21,000 mark was very special because it came from a community that was newly enrolled in the 100,000 Homes Campaign, validating the fact that every little bit helps.
Every community is urged to submit reports on their homeless population and their needs to the campaign each month. By federal law, communities have to submit point-in-time homelessness counts every two years anyway, but Maguire said pairing that with a Registry Week has a quantifiable impact on the rate of housing people in the community. Registry Week is part of the campaign’s effort to clarify the demand. During that week, the local campaign team creates a by-name and -photo registry of everyone experiencing homelessness in that area.
“Registry Week helps find out who the most vulnerable are, but communities already know who the chronically homeless are so they can start reporting placement upon enrollment,” said Marcus.
Oct. 23 and 24 brings Registry Week Boot Camp to Sacramento, CA, where the campaign has asked communities with Registry Weeks planned for 2012 and 2013 to send representatives to learn how to create a registry for their communities, line up housing and services to meet the homeless community’s needs and build a local team to make housing placements.
“A lot of people are beginning to find creative ways to house the homeless population. You don’t have to have all kinds of resources on tap to do this, we can help you develop a plan for your community,” said Maguire.