Thursday in Washington, DC, we released Getting to Proof Points: Key Learning from the First Three Years of Built for Zero.
Julia Orlando is not interested in your excuses.
Talking on speaker phone from her office at the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center, she walks me through the work she and her team have undertaken over the last several years to tackle homelessness locally, first among veterans and more recently among those experiencing chronic— or long-term— homelessness.
Increased coordination: check. A countywide commitment to Housing First: check. Clear monthly performance targets: check. Real-time, person-specific data: check.
This week, we officially announced that Riverside County, CA had become the first large community in the country to reach Functional Zero, our rigorous definition of a clear and measurable end to veteran homelessness. Our team has worked with Riverside since 2015 as part of our Built for Zero initiative.
My interactions with communities, partners and funders in the work to end homelessness are typically energizing. I hear conversations that inspire and challenge me on a regular basis.