Regional Task Force on the Homeless joins national ‘Built for Zero’ initiative
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Continuing to advance the focused effort to end veteran homelessness in the City of San Diego, the Regional Task Force on the Homeless (RTFH) and its partners have signed onto a national initiative known as Built for Zero, led by Community Solutions.
This action boosts the City’s Community Action Plan on Homelessness and supports the momentum to end veteran homelessness across the county.
“Ending homelessness in San Diego can be a reality if we take different approaches than we have in the past,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “Built for Zero is a proven method. It works because it does more than just count people. It will force us to take a hard look at the resources we have available and how we match those resources with the people who need them. Cities across the country have shown they can end homelessness with Built for Zero. There is no reason San Diego cannot be a shining example of how to help our unhoused neighbors.”
As part of its engagement, San Diego will join the Built for Zero Large City Cohort, allowing the city to share best practices and exchange information about successful initiatives among peer cities across the country, including Denver, Phoenix, Atlanta, Washington D.C., and others working to end veteran homelessness in major urban metros. Mayor Gloria will also have the opportunity to join a Mayors’ Cohort.
“Built for Zero isn’t saying there will never be people who are unhoused,” said RTFH CEO Tamera Kohler on Good Morning San Diego, who helped craft the city’s Action Plan. “It is taking a different approach to how we collect and analyze data, and how we work with every single person in a particular subpopulation, provide opportunities for housing for each of those people, and ensure that if someone becomes homeless, it is brief and does not occur again.”
Fourteen Built for Zero communities have ended either chronic or veteran homelessness by reaching a standard called functional zero, a dynamic milestone that indicates a community has solved homelessness for a specific population. Ending veteran homelessness, for example, happens when the number of veterans experiencing homelessness is less than the number of veterans a community has proven it can house in a month.