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The New York Times: A Growing Drive to Get to Zero Homelessness

"If you’re eager to be reminded that humane and inspiring civic leadership still exists, read on. Over the past three years, nine communities in the United States have reached a rigorous standard known as 'functional zero' for either veteran or chronic homelessness."
  |  June 10, 2018

The New York Times‘ Fixes column featured the work of communities in Built for Zero to end chronic and veteran homelessness.

Here’s the set-up: three years ago, our 100,000 Homes Campaign announced it had helped participating communities house more than 105,580 people. And yet, during the Campaign, national estimates of chronic homelessness only dropped by about 22,000. Something wasn’t adding up.

So, we devoted ourselves to a new question— instead of counting up to a large number of people housed, what would we have to figure out to count all the way down to zero?

David Bornstein, a co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network, writes:

If you’re eager to be reminded that humane and inspiring civic leadership still exists, read on. Over the past three years, nine communities in the United States have reached a rigorous standard known as “functional zero” for either veteran or chronic homelessness — a standard that indicates that homelessness is rare and much briefer than in the past for their populations — and 37 others have accomplished measurable reductions toward that goal.

What’s illuminating is how they’re doing it: by making whole systems smarter.

For the first time, many communities across the country are collecting and maintaining real-time data and lists of the names of people experiencing homelessness, and from those deepening their understanding of the dynamics of a complex and ever-changing problem. 

Click here to read on.

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