There has been a lot of due focus on ending homelessness recently. Last month, the Administration unveiled the nation’s first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness within the next ten years. The National Alliance to End Homelessness also concluded their National Conference on Ending Homelessness in Washington, DC last week. Keynote speakers at the conference included Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, who both stressed their firm commitment to ending homelessness. In addition, the conference served as the launching pad for Common Ground’s 100,000 Homes campaign.
The goal of the 100,000 Homes campaign is to find homes for 100,000 of the most vulnerable and chronically homeless by July 2013. The campaign’s model consists of a 5-step process centered on delving into and identifying the homeless in each community and then assessing how to best help and house them. 100,000 Homes provides tools and materials to assist communities in housing the homeless, including a 12-week intensive curriculum for local team leaders on how to successfully implement a campaign and a Vulnerability Index Survey to help clarify the demand for housing.
The campaign relies not only on activists and advocates focused on ending homelessness, but also enlists community members to become part of the effort. 100,000 Homes hopes to end homelessness by providing communities with both the tools and resources necessary to combat it.
100,000 Homes was launched in conjunction with their website www.100khomes.org, which tracks progress, celebrates local and national achievements, and is a forum for the sharing of ideas and information.
Common Ground, in partnership with other organizations, has proven it is a heavyweight in the fight to eradicate homelessness by, according to the New York Times, housing every homeless person in Times Square, minus one holdout. Their 100,000 Homes campaign has already seen early success with the housing more than 5,000 homeless.