The Rocket Community Fund and The Home Depot Foundation today announced a mutual investment to bolster permanent housing for veterans in Detroit experiencing homelessness.
Located at a facility operated by Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries in Highland Park, the 61 new apartments include kitchenettes, upgraded fixtures and renovated common areas that will meet the needs of veterans to serve as permanent, sustainable housing. Renovations are supported through equal donations from the Rocket Community Fund and The Home Depot Foundation.
“Everyone deserves the peace of mind that comes from stable housing; especially our nation’s heroes,” said Jay Farner, CEO of Rocket Mortgage and Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT). “Veteran homelessness is a crisis in our country, but we are confident that we can solve it in Detroit by 2026 – while continuing to support Built for Zero’s ongoing efforts to end veteran homelessness across the nation.”
The Built for Zero initiative helps communities deploy data-driven methodology to reduce veteran and chronic homelessness. The national initiative allows communities to drive improvements to their local homeless response system, helping people experiencing homelessness receive access to housing and assistance.
Built for Zero is led by nonprofit Community Solutions and includes more than 80 communities working to measurably end homelessness. With support from Rocket Community Fund and community partners, Detroit has seen a 42% decrease in veteran homelessness since 2018.
“Thanks to the vision of our partners, and the new permanent housing facility at 211 Glendale, the community is one step closer to ending veteran homelessness in Detroit,” said Rosanne Haggerty, President of Community Solutions. “This conversion models one important and innovative way that communities can expand access to safe, permanent housing for its veterans.”
Currently, there are 162 veterans actively experiencing homelessness in Detroit, while 928 Detroit veterans have been housed since 2018. The organizations involved are targeting an additional 40% reduction in 2021 as they work toward achieving “functional zero,” a milestone where fewer veterans are experiencing homelessness than can be routinely housed.
The Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries operates and administers the building at 211 Glendale where the 61 transitional units are being converted into permanent housing units. All other units are funded through the Veteran Affairs Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program and serve homeless veterans through the efforts of the Detroit Continuum of Care.
“We are proud to be a partner in this effort to add over 60 permanent housing units for veterans experiencing homelessness in Detroit, a situation that should never occur today,” said Dr. Chad Audi, President and CEO of nonprofit Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries. “For over 100 years, our various facilities have helped treat, feed and house those in need, and we are pleased to aid in Built for Zero’s mission and grateful to be part of the solution to the problem of veteran homelessness.”
The Home Depot Foundation works to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans and has partnered with Community Solutions to support at-risk veterans and those experiencing homelessness across the nation. Over the past decade, the Foundation has invested more than $375 million in veteran causes, improving more than 50,000 veteran homes and facilities. The investment into 211 Glendale is part of its $500 million commitment to veteran causes by 2025.
“The Home Depot Foundation is deeply committed to serving veterans and ensuring every one of our nation’s heroes has a safe, stable place to call home,” said Shannon Gerber, Executive Director of The Home Depot Foundation. “We’re proud to join Community Solutions and the Rocket Community Fund in supporting the renovations at 211 Glendale, which will make a meaningful difference in the lives of dozens of Detroit veterans.”
Rocket Mortgage Veteran Housing Fund
The Rocket Community Fund also announced that the Rocket Mortgage Veteran Housing Fund, in operation since August of 2020, has provided 100 veterans with grants of up to $1,000 to ease the transition into permanent housing. Each veteran and their household are eligible for two grants of up to $1,000, the “Enable” portion and the “Support” portion. The Enable portion aids veterans in their transition by alleviating the costs associated with relocation, and the Support portion provides the equivalent of one month’s rent and utilities once a lease is signed.
Rocket Mortgage first partnered with Community Solutions in 2018 to end homelessness in Detroit – and the country. It launched a nationwide campaign in 2019 to highlight Built for Zero through the stories of four U.S. military veterans who transitioned from experiencing homelessness into permanent housing.
Rocket Mortgage and Rocket Companies have invested more than $20 million into veteran-based initiatives, and its team members have provided 30,000 hours of volunteer work to veteran non-profit organizations since 2010. The Rocket Community Fund and Gilbert Family Foundation recently announced a $500 million philanthropic investment into Detroit over the next ten years to address housing stability and build economic mobility.
The 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic, Detroit’s first-ever PGA TOUR event, raised more than $200,000 for Built for Zero through its Shot for Heroes activation. The activation has raised $1.2 million overall for veteran-focused nonprofits, including during the previous five years as part of the Quicken Loans National.
Since Built for Zero’s inception, more than 130,000 individuals experiencing homelessness have been housed across the country. Of the 83 Built for Zero communities, 12 have reached Functional Zero for veteran homelessness, and five have reached the same landmark for chronic homelessness.
Initial renovations at 211 Glendale are slated to be completed by end of summer. The Rocket Community Fund and other partners are actively evaluating opportunities for further investments and enhancements to the building to be completed in the near future.