North Central Florida is working diligently toward ending veteran homelessness in their community. As a part of Built For Zero, they credit collaboration and data as the keys to their work.
Watch how North Central Florida is working to end veteran homelessness through Built for Zero, in this HISTORY® video created by our partners at Rocket Mortgage.
“Breaking silos is key to ending veteran homelessness,” said Keanna Johnson, lead case manager of Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) for Meridian Behavioral Healthcare.
By bringing together multiple agencies to collaborate, North Central Florida has seen progress toward ending veteran homelessness.
“Collaboration is important to end veteran homelessness,” Johnson said. “We were very siloed before Built for Zero and we’ve seen housing placements jump and veteran identification jump.”
The community maintains real-time information on every veteran experiencing homelessness there.
“We started looking at the needs of the individual and we created a by-name list, reframing the way that we viewed how we provided services,” said Patrick Dodds, director of the Continuum of Care for the United Way of North Central Florida “Approaching things on a case-by-case basis makes us more efficient as a community.”
North Central Florida joined Built for Zero in October of 2019 and achieved quality by-name data for populations experiencing veteran and chronic homelessness less than a year later.
Now they review this by-name data during regular case conferencing meetings, where different organizations come together to find housing solutions for individuals on the list.
“When we case conference, we review by-name lists, celebrate housing placements, and evaluate needs of those unhoused on the list,” Johnson said. “During the pandemic, we were able to get people into hotels and long term housing.”
North Central Florida has set a goal of reaching functional zero for veterans by February 2022.