Today, the Detroit Continuum of Care marked World Homelessness Day by detailing the progress that Detroit has made toward ending veteran homelessness as part of the Built for Zero initiative, led by national nonprofit Community Solutions with strong support from Rocket Community Fund.
Detroit has achieved several milestones:
- Recorded quality, by-name data on every veteran experiencing homelessness. This data enables Detroit to track whether homelessness is declining or increasing from month to month.
- Reduced veteran homelessness by 70% since 2015. Just from 2020-2022, they saw a 50% reduction. This reduction is significantly higher than the national reduction in veteran homelessness over the same timespan (11%).
- 60 transitional units at 211 Glendale were converted from temporary housing funded through the Grant Per Diem (GPD) program to permanent housing units for veterans exiting homelessness. The conversion was made possible with support from Community Solutions, Rocket Community Fund and The Home Depot Foundation.
- Collaborated with all the agencies and programs that serve veterans to create a strong coordinated entry system. This means that no matter who a veteran comes into contact with, they go through the same process to understand their needs and get them connected to the right support and services.
“On World Homelessness Day, we recognize these milestones and acknowledge the challenging journey ahead,” said Beth Sandor, chief program officer at Community Solutions. “With a data-driven, human-centered approach, we can transform our support systems and turn our vision for ending homelessness into a reality.”
Built for Zero is a movement and methodology of 107 U.S. cities and counties, including Detroit, committed to using data to measurably and equitably end homelessness for entire populations. Detroit works to achieve and sustain “functional zero,” a measurable milestone in which the number of people entering homelessness is fewer than the number of people a community can house in a given month.
“Our system is resilient, and we have learned how to forge and maintain deep, trusting relationships. It is through collaboration and transparency that we will reach functional zero and ultimately use these same principles to positively impact other challenges in our community,” said Dr. Gerald I.F. Curley, director of Mental Health Homeless Programs, VA Detroit Healthcare System and member of Detroit’s Built for Zero team.
Detroit’s success in reducing veteran homelessness is possible because they have built a strong system based on collaboration across the various programs, agencies and funders that serve veterans. The Rocket Community Fund has been a particularly dedicated partner in this effort since joining the Built for Zero movement as a lead partner in 2018.
“We believe everyone deserves a safe and stable home. In particular, those who have sacrificed to serve our country should never wonder where they will sleep at night,” said Laura Grannemann, Executive Director, Rocket Community Fund. “Detroit is a shining example across the country of how we can end homelessness through collaboration and dedication.”
About Community Solutions
Community Solutions is a nonprofit committed to creating a lasting end to homelessness that leaves no one behind. It leads Built for Zero, a movement of more than 100 communities in the United States working to measurably and equitably end homelessness.
About Detroit VA
Since 1939, the Detroit VA Healthcare System has been improving the health of the men and women who have so proudly served our nation. In 1996, the medical center moved from Allen Park, Michigan to the current location on John R. in Detroit. One of the newer VA facilities in the country, we consider it our privilege to serve the health care needs of our Veterans. Services are available to more than 330,000 Veterans living in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and St. Clair counties. This population represents approximately forty-four percent of the Veteran population in the lower peninsula of Michigan. For more information, visit www.detroit.va.gov.
For more information on Detroit VA, please contact Bill Browning, Chief, Communications and Community Affairs William.firstname.lastname@example.org or 313-244-7707
About Rocket Community Fund
The Rocket Community Fund aims to simplify complex and inequitable systems to ensure that every American has access to stable, healthy housing. It also invests in people and practices that provide meaningful opportunities for education and employment.
Through its For-More-Than-Profit model, the Rocket Community Fund recognizes that business and community are inextricably linked, and it purposefully harnesses team member talent, technology, policy advocacy and philanthropic resources to invest in comprehensive community development in Detroit and across the country.
Alongside financial investments, the Rocket Community Fund has organized Rocket Companies, Bedrock and other team members to provide more than one million volunteer hours nationwide, including more than 720,000 in Detroit.
For more information, visit RocketCommunityFund.org.