First Baptist Church of Fannin and Super Summer Serving mission groups help the Jackson Resource Center demolish a building in south Jackson to turn into a homeless resource center to help them get back on their feet. Photo by Putalamus White

Collaboration Key to Ending Homelessness in Mississippi?

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

In 2015, the City of Gulfport managed to get veteran homelessness to functional zero, which is the threshold demonstrating that veteran or chronic homelessness has ended. Mary Simons, executive director of the Open Door Homeless Coalition, said her group achieved this by partnering with Community Solutions' Built for Zero.

Niagara’s homelessness director, Cathy Cousins, from left, Regional Chair Jim Bradley & program analyst Lisa Bell discuss Niagara’s inclusion in the Built For Zero Canada collaborative, helping Niagara deal with chronic homelessness. Allan Benner, Torstar

Niagara joins national initiative to end chronic homelessness

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Niagara Region has been accepted as part of a national initiative working to end chronic homelessness.

Built for Zero Canada — a Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness initiative based on a successful U.S. program — announced Tuesday that Niagara has been accepted to be part of the collaborative.

"Our goal is to ultimately end homelessness. And that's a lofty goal, but a goal that we should be working toward," said Niagara Region Chair Jim Bradley while announcing Niagara's inclusion in the program.

County council briefs: County housing stability manager receives Municipal Champion Award

Thursday, July 18, 2019

“Lori has worked with community partners in our community to transform the local homeless-serving system in our community, moving from a silo approach to one of collaboration and a ‘no wrong door’ system, resulting in an overall reduction of chronic homelessness of 24 per cent,” Pettipiere stated.

Guelph-Wellington has reported 136 chronically homeless people as of March, which is a significant reduction from the 178 reported last September, the report notes.

Moving in a veteran at Victory Place in Phoenix
Submitted by Kristin Kellogg on

The team working to end veteran homelessness in Phoenix has a lot of ground to cover. Sprawling Maricopa County includes the city of Phoenix and spans 9,224 square miles, making it bigger than four states, by area. It’s comprised of 24 municipalities, several Native American nations, and is among the fastest growing counties in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Shot for Heroes at Rocket Mortgage Classic
Submitted by Kaitlyn Ranney on

From June 25 to 30, thousands of golf fans in Detroit took their chance at a scoring a coveted hole-in-one at the interactive “Shot for Heroes” experience at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. For each attempted shot, Quicken Loans generously donated to Built for Zero - $25 for a fan taking a swing, $100 for landing a ball in the “O” within 13 feet of the pin, and $2,500 donated to Community Solutions and $2,500 to the fan who hits a hole-in-one. Even PGA Tour pro Rickie Fowler joined guests and fans and took on the challenge at the event.

Christopher Richard, a former homeless veteran, and his fiancee Shelley Hamilton attended the event for ending veteran homelessness in Libertyville Tuesday. (Frank Abderholden/News-Sun)

Astronaut James Lovell salutes ‘important milestone’ of addressing homelessness among Lake County’s veterans

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Did veteran homelessness really come to an end in Lake County?

Veterans still find themselves without housing in the county, but through a collaborative effort between the Lake County Coalition for the Homeless, Lake County government and the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, officials say a safety net is in place to identify and provide help for any veteran calling the streets home.

Lake County became the second such designated community in the state — Rockford was first — and just the 10th community nationwide.

Lake County has become the 11th Built for Zero community in the country to end veteran or chronic homelessness.
Submitted by Anna Kim on

On July 2, Lake County, Illinois announced that they have reached both Functional Zero and met federal benchmarks and criteria for ending veteran homelessness. They are the 11th community in the nation to reach Functional Zero on veteran or chronic homelessness.

"People think ending homelessness is not achievable, because the system wasn't designed to end it — it was designed to manage it,” said Brenda O’Connell, community lead for Built for Zero and the Continuum of Care Program Coordinator of Lake County. “But if you redesign it with zero in mind, it can be ended.”

Melanie Lewis Dickerson by Voyage Denver

Meet Melanie Lewis Dickerson of Community Solutions in Downtown

Monday, July 1, 2019

Even though each of our stories is different, I think the road always has a few bumps. I’ve been very fortunate to have a supportive family, friends, and mentors who have encouraged me along the way but each chapter comes with a new challenge. Working to solve homelessness when most people think it can’t be solved certainly keeps things interesting. And working to find solutions in a large market like Denver or Phoenix increases the complexity exponentially. It requires a re-examination of our history, how we build teams, how we allocate resources, and of what we value as a community.

Victory! NYC Funds Community Land Trusts in City Budget

Friday, June 21, 2019

Community and affordable housing activists are celebrating NYC Council’s announcement of $870,000 in FY2020 discretionary funding for community land trusts (CLTs) across NYC. The funding will help incubate and expand CLTs to develop permanently-affordable housing and curb displacement in low-income NYC neighborhoods.