Becky Kanis, Community Solutions’ director of the 100,000 Homes Campaign, was named a “Champion of Change” by the White House this week. Becky was one of 14 female veterans honored for providing “exemplary leadership in many areas at the local, state, regional and national level after honorably serving the country.” First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki were on hand to salute these remarkable women.
Eight communities gathered in Los Angeles this month to participate in the first Acceleration Boot Camp, a three day training event designed to reinvent the way local organizations move their homeless neighbors into permanent housing. The event builds on the success of previous Housing Placement Boot Camps, which targeted housing systems for homeless veterans.
The 100,000 Homes Campaign, a national movement of communities working together to permanently house 100,000 chronic and vulnerable homeless Americans, has officially cleared 30,000 people housed. The Campaign, which is coordinated nationally by Community Solutions, said this week that participating communities have now found permanent housing for 31,226 chronic and vulnerable homeless individuals and families in more than 180 communities across the country.
Ten years ago, Becky Kanis started on a journey that would earn her the description “social innovation rock star” and leave her with a tattoo on her arm that symbolized the present and future of her work to end homelessness.
When Women Lead
On any given night, more than 68,000 veterans are homeless. But Community Solutions, with the help of local and national partners, is working to drastically reduce that number and see to it that returning veterans never become homeless in the first place.
Finding a stable place to live is one of the central issues facing returning veterans. Without a home, it's hard to find a job, get back to school or heal from war-related injuries.
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.
On August 27, 2012, Community Solutions' own Jessica Venegas was invited by the White House Domestic Policy Council to speak at a White House forum on urban innovation. The forum was a TED-style event where representatives from various organizations in the United States were given the chance to speak on how their work is fostering new approaches to social innovation and economic opportunity.
Over the next five years, as over one million American service members exit our armed forces, it is essential that our country be prepared to help them make a successful transition back into civilian life. At Community Solutions, we believe that a stable home must be part of every veteran’s homecoming.
The following piece appeared on HuffingtonPost.com on Monday November 14, 2011.