Over the last year, two stories about homelessness have been simultaneously unfolding.
The first has dominated the public discourse: homelessness is a crisis that demands urgent attention. That story is true, and so is another: communities across the country are demonstrating homelessness is solvable. The task is making this truth the prevailing story of homelessness in the United States.
Through Built for Zero, we work with 105 cities and counties working to make homelessness rare and brief. These communities are reimagining how to approach homelessness, organizing a community-wide team around a shared aim for ending homelessness. They design strategies and target resources guided by the kind of person-centered, real-time information that has fueled other public health victories.
Today, we published a report that includes findings from our evaluation partners ORS and Equal Measure, along with own analysis, on the first of our five-year journey with the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change award. By 2026, we aim to have helped cities and counties of all types — big and small, urban and rural — render homelessness rare and brief. These communities will have created a new reality where solving homelessness will be expected rather than exceptional.
What we’re working toward
Imagine the future with us. It’s 2026. Cities and counties of all kinds — big and small, urban and rural, red and blue — have made homelessness rare and brief. Homelessness is no longer seen as intractable, and ending it is no longer seen as exceptional. It’s expected.
Our path toward a tipping point
Community Solutions aims to create a tipping point in the United States by July 31, 2026, in which the conditions are primed for any community to create a lasting end to homelessness.
Helping communities end homelessness
By 2026, at least 50 U.S. communities will have reached functional zero homelessness for 75 populations. Five of these communities will have proven it is possible to make homelessness rare and brief for everyone.
Solving key data and collaboration challenges
By 2026, key data, governance, and accountability challenges will have been solved, creating the conditions for any community to end homelessness.
Supporting racially equitable homeless response systems
By 2026, communities across the country have proven it is possible to make progress on, and achieve, key indicators of a racially equitable homeless response system.
Creating accountability for ending homelessness
By 2026, targeted states and cities will have a formal role as active participants in ending and preventing homelessness, and federal grants and contracts will define success as reducing the number of people experiencing homelessness. Importantly, others will hold political leaders accountable for reducing and ending homelessness, too.
Closing the housing supply gap
By 2026, communities can leverage powerful, dynamic ways to close housing supply gaps to accelerate progress to functional zero homelessness.