Homelessness is the result of marginalised and disenfranchised people colliding with broken systems, and an estimated 500,000 people experience homelessness in the US on any given night. However, communities across the US are demonstrating that these systems can be fixed, and homelessness has been solved in some cities through Community Solutions’ Built for Zero initiative.
Community Solutions (CS), a US-based not-for-profit organisation, helps cities and counties in the United States measurably and equitably end homelessness. It does this through its initiative Built for Zero, a large-scale change effort that uses data and collaboration to help communities create systems designed to continuously end homelessness. The methodology understands that no single actor is often fully accountable for ending homelessness within a community, but that each agency working to do so holds a small piece of the solution. Communities in Built for Zero measures success by reducing the total number of people experiencing homelessness, and collects the real-time, by-name data necessary to test systems changes, as well as target and secure housing resources. It does this by working to develop and support a locally based ‘command centre team’ of key organisations in a city or town, to make all of the pieces that keep people in their homes fit together.