In 2015, Tulsa began a journey to end homelessness for those in our community who are the most susceptible to losing their home: Veterans and people who are chronically homeless. At that time, we used data and some projections to determine how many individuals would need our help over 24 months – and we set goals to find homes for all of those people. And we did it.
We estimated a need for 289 Veterans and 95 chronically homeless individuals. We’ve exceeded that original goal by 40 percent: housing more than 600 people as of November 2016.
We are not stopping now.
Unfortunately, there are more people who need help. And we have made far too much progress to turn back now. So instead of stopping with the original timeframe of Dec. 31, 2016 – we are going to keep going. Formerly known as Zero: 2016 Tulsa, Tulsa is now called: Built for Zero.
Zero: 2016 taught us numerous lessons; Tulsa agencies worked hand-in-hand and side-by-side to increase housing placement rates. We now house an average of 30 Tulsans per month! And all those individuals receive wrap-around services to help with their whole-body needs — whether that’s addiction help, education, medical care and more. e are excited to
continue working to accelerate our progress toward ending veteran and chronic homelessness.
We’ve become part of a national movement of communities working toward the same goal, which means we have a robust network to partner with and learn from. We know ending chronic and veteran homelessness is possible, because several communities throughout the country have done it. We’re excited to continue working with Community Solutions and its partners (CSH and OrgCode) as part of this national network to make sure every person in our community has a safe, stable and supportive home. Community Solutions and its partners (CSH and OrgCode) are extending the Zero: 2016 initiative, and we are excited to continue participating. Starting in November, this national movement will be known as “Built for Zero” instead of Zero: 2016, indicating the kind of community we want to be and the sustainable system we are building together.
We now have the leadership, partners and stakeholders at the table to pursue this goal in a coordinated way. For the first time, we now know every homeless veteran and/or person
experiencing chronic homelessness in our community by name and in real time. A streamlined, coordinated system that includes all the major agencies and players in our community.