Tell me more about the Community Solutions team.

We're like you— we really want to end homelessness.

We started as housing developers in New York City. Eventually, we realized that all the housing in the world wouldn't end homelessness if we couldn't fix the systems that connect people to homes in the first place.

From 2010-2014, we ran the 100,000 Homes Campaign. In 2015, we launched Built for Zero— a much more complex effort to help communities end homelessness for good.

(Don't you want to end homelessness with us?)

(Don't you want to end homelessness with us?)


Who should be on my community team?

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Is my community ready to participate?

You'll need five things to be successful.

  • A clear, community-wide goal to end homelessness for veterans and/or individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.

  • A committed multi-agency team of leaders who can take ownership of setting goals and coordinate your systems improvement work. That team should include groups like your VA and your local Continuum of Care.

  • Someone to drive your team forward. This person doesn’t have to be formally in charge, but they’ll need to accept responsibility for convening meetings, getting the right people to the table, and driving your broader team of leaders forward. If no one is in this role yet in your community, we’ll help you figure out who it should be.

  • Monthly data reporting and readiness to reach new data quality thresholds. Alongside your identified Data Lead, we will help you build a quality by-name list of all singles to understand the dynamics of homelessness in your system. Your team will begin collecting and tracking data in new ways, such as looking at inflow, outflow, and actively homeless data points.

  • Participation in the Built for Zero national peer support network, including 2 in-person Learning Sessions, where you will have the opportunity to learn from and spread ideas to other communities.


What data will I have to report each month?

Built for Zero will help you get reliable, real-time data on homelessness so you can start to drive your numbers down each month. You'll report six data points each month so we can keep your visualization dashboards up to date. Don't worry— most communities can't report every data point when they start. We're here to help!

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How much does it cost?

The Collaborative is heavily subsidized. In addition, each community team is asked to cover a portion of its costs through a $10,000 annual tuition fee. This is to ensure that we can sustain this support over time without being overly dependent on any one funding source. We also believe that communities value what they pay for. We believe that having some minimal financial skin in the game may result in better outcomes.

While every community must pay something, we are committed to ensuring that cost is not a barrier to participation for anyone. A large percentage of communities receive scholarship money, and more importantly— willing to work with you to figure this out!  


When has my community reached functional zero?

Plain and simple. Your community has ended veteran homelessness when the number of veterans experiencing homelessness falls below your average monthly housing placement rate. You've ended chronic homelessness when the number of people experiencing chronic homelessness falls to 3 or fewer, or else .1% of your most recent point-in-time count (whichever is greater).

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Do I really have to participate in the annual Built for Zero lip sync battle?

Yes.