Citizens

Actions to support an end homelessness, locally and nationally

No single solution can end homelessness — but the full force of a community can. You can get involved — whether it is locally or within the national movement — to accelerate an end to homelessness.


Background

Communities are proving that we can break with the status quo and deliver on a promise of a home for all. This work is not easy. Achieving and sustaining this new normal requires new systems, different decisions, and the full force of a community demanding it. Learn how you can support your own community and the movement at large. 


STEP 1

Promote a new understanding of homelessness

Ending homelessness is a matter of racial equity and justice.

Watch and share this video, created by the National Racial Equity Working Group.

Spread the word:

Homelessness is a reflection of failing systems, racism, and how society fails our most marginalized neighbors. 
When we end homelessness, it reflects our power to reimagine systems, realize racial justice, and leave no one behind.

youtube.com/watch?v=vISKMvSZCas
#HomelessnessIsSolvable

Homelessness is a systems problem.

Read and share this post on why the solution to ending homelessness lies in redesigning our systems. 

Spread the word:

Homelessness is a result of the systems we’ve designed and the decisions we’ve collectively made. We have the power to design new systems and make different decisions.
#HomelessnessIsSolvable
community.solutions/why-is-homelessness-a-systems-problem

Homelessness is solvable.

Explore this page, which we will keep routinely updated, with examples of communities that are working to reduce and end homelessness for populations. You can also watch this video, which provides an overview of the methodology communities across the country are adopting to solve homelessness.

Spread the word:

Solving homelessness is not just an aspiration. It’s an achievable reality. Communities across the country are proving it.

#HomelessnessIsSolvable
homelessnessissolvable.org

Spread the word:

Communities across the country are demonstrating that #HomelessnessIsSolvable when they take a systems approach to measurably and equitably ending homelessness.

youtube.com/watch?v=LKDHLMlNprI

Graphics to include with your social posts

Download images by using right-click > “Save image as…”


STEP 2

Support local organizations

Identify whether your community is a part of Built for Zero and support them.

Use our interactive map to see if your community is participating in Built for Zero. Identify the organizations that are a part of the effort and see how you can support them. 

Spread the word:

Proud to see that [[@ community name]] is a @BuiltForZero community dedicated to measurably and equitably solving homelessness. We can create a future where homelessness is rare and brief, for all.
#HomelessnessIsSolvable

If your community is not in Built for Zero, you can start by looking up the Continuum of Care that serves your area.

This may be led by a municipal agency or by a nonprofit organization and will give you a sense of the actors leading your local homeless response system.


STEP 3

Create accountability for measurably and equitably ending homelessness

Find out if your city or county has a commitment to measurably and equitably ending homelessness, and hold it accountable for making progress toward that goal.

Many communities across the country have set a goal of achieving a milestone known as functional zero. Achieving and sustaining functional zero indicates that systems that can continuously solve homelessness for an entire population. Technically, it means that fewer people are experiencing homelessness than are routinely exiting it.

Next, find out how your community is measuring progress toward that goal. Though almost every city has a strategic plan for ending homelessness, these plans often define success by outputs, program measures, or interventions. Or they may rely on annual point-in-time counts to measure success in these efforts, even though homelessness is a dynamic problem that changes every night. Learn why relying on a point-in-time count is insufficient for ending homelessness and how communities are using real-time data.

Success must be measured by whether the number of people experiencing homelessness is going down, month over month, and whether that work is producing equitable outcomes. Find out if your community is releasing that number publicly, every month. If not, advocate for your community to join the cities and counties across the country moving toward quality, real-time data.

Ask your elected officials the following questions:

  1. Do we have a commitment to population-level reductions in homelessness as the critical measure of success in our city/county? 
  2. Is the city or county publishing its cumulative numbers of people experiencing homelessness, and updating it month over month?
  3. Does the city/county have a shared aim of functionally ending homelessness for any population?
  4. Is the community currently driving population-level reductions in homelessness, and how would we know? 
  5. How will this [effort, investment, intervention] help communities drive population-level reductions in homelessness? 
  6. Is real-time, by-name data informing these decisions, and where is that data coming from?

KEY RESOURCES

Homelessness is solvable.

Communities in the Built for Zero movement are proving it.

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