In November 2017, Community Solutions began its partnership with the Tableau Foundation to explore the use of Tableau visualization software as a tool to empower communities participating in Built for Zero. In March 2019, the Tableau Foundation and Community Solutions formally announced its partnership to end veteran and chronic homelessness in 50 U.S. communities.
At the heart of this partnership is an understanding that communities cannot solve a problem they cannot see. Every community in Built for Zero maintains a by-name list: a real-time, person-specific list of everyone experiencing homelessness across a population. Thanks to this partnership, every community participating in Built for Zero has the ability to visualize this data and see whether this number is going up or down, and what’s causing those changes.
By understanding these dynamics of homelessness in real time, cities and counties can develop coordinated, data-driven approaches to drive down the number of people experiencing homelessness.
In 2020, with the global pandemic underscoring the urgent need to end homelessness, Tableau Foundation announced a $2 million investment in software, services, and financial support in Community Solutions. This grant will support the training of 500 leaders across the country in using data to serve people experiencing homelessness and at high risk of becoming homeless.
This investment will continue to accelerate the adoption of the methodology that has already helped more than a dozen communities in Built for Zero reach functional zero on chronic or veteran homelessness.