In February of 2020, Lynchburg became the 12th community in the United States to end veteran homelessness as a part of Built for Zero, a movement of more than 80 cities and counties in the U.S. committed to measurably ending homelessness, one population at a time.
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. This means that the Lynchburg community has fewer veterans experiencing homelessness than can be routinely housed within a month, which is three veterans. As part of Built for Zero, the Lynchburg team 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,” under one roof around a shared aim of getting to functional zero
- Using real-time, person-specific data to know every person experiencing veteran experiencing homelessness by name and target efforts and resources accordingly
- Using data to redesign Lynchburg’s homeless response and strategically target resources