Since reaching functional zero for veteran homelessness in 2015, the Maryland community has worked to sustain that outcome while reducing both chronic and family homelessness on its journey to ending homelessness for all.
In Montgomery County, all the leaders of homelessness services meet twice a month to coordinate housing placements for people on their by-name list. In those meetings, all the members provide updates on their progress toward their shared goals.
This includes, for example, a goal of sustaining functional zero for veteran homelessness. For Montgomery County, that means working to ensure six or fewer veterans are experiencing homelessness at any time.
“It’s keeping track of that number and making sure we’re talking about it,” said Amanda Harris. She works as the Chief of Services to End and Prevent Homelessness for the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services. “And through our by-name list, we know every veteran and are able to talk about them — if we’re facing challenges getting them into a placement, or if they need a higher level of care. Knowing them by name is critical.”
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We have an opportunity to make a serious dent in homelessness.”
— Amanda Harris
Joined Built for Zero
Montgomery County joined Built for Zero, a national movement of more than 80 cities and counties committed to measurably ending homelessness.
Achieved quality by-name data (Veteran)
Montgomery County built a comprehensive real-time, by-name list of all veterans experiencing homelessness in the community.
Achieved functional zero for veteran homelessness
Achieved quality by-name data (Chronic)
Montgomery County built a comprehensive real-time, by-name list of all single adults experiencing chronic homelessness in the community.
Homelessness is solvable.
Communities in the Built for Zero movement are proving it.