Homelessness in the US is a $12 billion industry that doesn’t work. It affects an estimated 1.5 million people each year in the US alone, the majority of whom are people of color. Yet Community Solutions’ growing network of Built for Zero communities is proving it is a solvable problem. Thirteen US communities have ended chronic or veteran homelessness to date using our rigorous, data driven approach informed by public health breakthroughs. With 100&Change, 75 communities, including five of the country’s largest, will end homelessness for some or all populations by 2025. They will have created reliable and equitable local housing systems that prevent and quickly end homelessness for historically marginalized people. This overwhelming shift will establish new standards for communities’ efforts and new expectations of leaders for results. Our network and approach will be primed for expansion throughout the US and internationally to support this transformation.
Community Solutions International, Inc.website: https://www.community.solutions
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Homeless populations under COVID-19 struggle from lack of safe spaces to isolate, elevated risks of infection, hospitalization and death due to underlying health risks, racial disparity and age, unmet need for testing, and basic needs going unmet as local services have been disrupted by the pandemic. The economic crisis has placed many more Americans at risk of homelessness without additional federal assistance. Communities of color have always carried the heaviest and deadliest burdens of our systemic failures, including homelessness, and are being forced to do so again. Community Solutions is prioritizing the safety of those experiencing homelessness, the safety of frontline staff, and protecting local healthcare systems by working with federal and local public health agencies to prioritize homelessness in their emergency and long term responses, assisting communities in securing quarantine and isolation space for the most vulnerable and in moving people directly into stable housing, incorporating COVID-19 response work into ongoing coaching and data tracking support, accelerating homelessness prevention efforts, and accelerating work internationally. In order to successfully protect the most vulnerable communities, this work includes a focus on improving outcomes for people of color.
Racial and Ethnic Injustice Response
Race equity is a core value of our organization internally and externally, as reflected in our mission to create a lasting end to homelessness that leaves no one behind. Today, a Black person is four times more likely to experience homelessness in America than a White person, and for longer periods -- with even worse results for Native Americans. To drive racially equitable outcomes in homeless response systems, we have worked with community leaders and national experts to develop a racial equity measurement framework to be introduced this year, and will ensure communities can track, report, and visualize their progress in reducing racial disparity in their systems. Internally, we have continued to evolve our own learning, including measures in our 2024 strategic plan related to increasing diversity at all levels of leadership and fostering an inclusive, equitable experience for staff.