San Diego Joins 'Built For Zero' Program To Help The Homeless
By Rebekah Gonzalez
March 29, 2021
The model of the initiative is reported to have been effective in ending chronic or veterans' homelessness in 14 different communities.
The initiative is Built for Zero, which is led by Community Solutions.
The efforts in San Diego will start with a focus on homeless veterans and the plan includes a monthly count of homeless veterans and tracking how many veterans have been housed each month.
"Built for Zero isn't saying there will never be people who are unhoused," said Region Task Force on the Homeless CEO Tamera Kohler in a press release. "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."
According to the 2020 count of homeless people conducted by the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, veterans make up around 8% of the 3,971 people living without shelter in San Diego 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.”
Photo: Getty Images