Fremont County is a low-resourced, rural environment that operates as a sub-region of the Colorado Balance of State Continuum of Care. When the team joined Built for Zero, they had no case conferencing, no robust outreach strategy, and no staff for housing navigation. They faced into each of those challenges and proved none of these barriers were insurmountable to making progress.
In February 2021, Fremont County reached functional zero for veteran homelessness, demonstrating that there are fewer veterans experiencing homelessness than can be routinely housed within a month, with a minimum threshold of three veterans.
By reaching functional zero for veteran homelessness, the community has proven it has built a system that can ensure homelessness is rare and brief, even if new veterans experience housing crises over time. The community is now focused on sustaining functional zero for veteran homelessness, while working to reach functional zero for chronic homelessness.
As part of Built for Zero, Fremont County changed how its homeless response system works by adopting the core elements of the Built for Zero methodology:
- Building a unified regional team, or a “command center” around a shared aim of getting to functional zero.
- Using real-time, person-specific data to know every veteran experiencing homelessness by name and target efforts and resources accordingly.
- Using data to redesign Fremont County’s homeless response and strategically target resources.