The resourceful Fremont County team made incredible strides since joining Built for Zero in 2019, as a sub-region of the Colorado Balance of State Continuum of Care. In March 2021, Fremont County reached functional zero for veteran homelessness, demonstrating that there are fewer veterans experiencing homelessness than can be routinely housed within a month, which is three veterans in Fremont County. By reaching functional zero for veteran homelessness, the community has proven it has built a system that can ensure homelessness is rare and brief, even if new veterans experience housing crises over time.
Through the thoughtful adaptation and distribution of a monthly report to a wide group of stakeholders, the Adelaide Zero Project has also demonstrated that, when communicated creatively and consistently, data can be a powerful tool for advocacy and will-building.
“People think ending homelessness is not achievable, because the system wasn’t designed to end it: it was designed to manage it. But if you redesign it with zero in mind, it can be ended.”
Brenda O’Connell and her community of Lake County, Illinois, ended veteran homelessness with the help of Built for Zero.