Built for Zero (formerly Zero: 2016) is a rigorous national change effort working to help a core group of committed communities end veteran and chronic homelessness. Coordinated by Community Solutions, the national effort supports participants in developing real time data on homelessness, optimizing local housing resources, tracking progress against monthly goals, and accelerating the spread of proven strategies.
Roughly 84,000 Americans experience chronic homelessness on any given night, meaning they have been homeless for at least a year and suffer from a disabling health condition. Meanwhile, roughly 40,000 veterans are also homeless in the very country they fought to defend. These individuals face drastically reduced life expectancies and account for huge public costs in emergency service usage.
Building on the momentum of our 100,000 Homes Campaign, a national movement that helped communities find homes for 105,580 homeless Americans in four years, we are:
- Helping a committed group of U.S. communities do whatever it takes to end veteran and chronic homelessness
- Creating a national tipping point to prove that success is possible, ultimately motivating all communities to end chronic and veteran homelessness
Through a national campaign-style strategy, our lean movement team is:
- Helping communities adopt proven best practices, deploy existing resources more efficiently, and use real-time data to improve performance
- Implementing transparent data and performance management for real-time improvement
- Engaging leadership from the government, private and philanthropic sectors in securing new resources for communities and removing policy roadblocks
- Connecting communities to one another through an online platform for innovation, knowledge capture and group problem solving
- More than 96,000 people housed by participating communities since January 2015, including more than 65,000 veterans
- Ten communities have measurably and sustainably ended veteran homelessness: Rockford, IL; Arlington, VA; Montgomery County, MD; Fort Myers, FL; Gulfport, MS; Riverside, CA; Norman, OK; Bergen County, NJ; Abilene, Texas; Lake County, IL
- Three communities have measurably and sustainably ended chronic homelessness: Bergen County, NJ; Lancaster, PA; and Rockford, IL
- More than 68 participating communities have now achieved real time, by-name data on their local homeless populations
- More than 39 participating communities are driving measurable reductions in homelessness, month over month