Eighteen months ago across the country, over 53,000 veterans and individuals experiencing chronic homelessness did not have a home.
Today, because of the national Zero: 2016 initiative, they all achieved housing and are connected to critical services in their own community — one that now embraces them and encourages their recovery.
How did this all happen? You and homelessness prevention advocates across the country took on a big problem by supporting a simple solution: Housing First. This internationally recognized housing model is guided by the belief that once you help someone meet their basic needs, like housing, they can focus on their physical and mental health and reclaim their place in our community.
Using this Housing First model, four communities across the country have ended veteran homelessness, with several more communities close on both veteran and chronic homelessness — including here in Oklahoma!
Norman, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa — all Zero: 2016 participating communities — made great strides towards ending veteran and chronic homelessness.
Check out how many people achieved housing in Oklahoma since January 2015!
As much as this is a time to celebrate, there is still so much work left to do in 2016 and beyond. This is why Community Solutions, a New York-based nonprofit that has organized the national Zero: 2016 campaign, has extended the initiative to the end of 2017. For obvious reasons, the Zero: 2016 initiative will get a new name soon as it continues through next year. We’ll keep you posted about the new name.
Before Zero: 2016 began last year, some people thought chronic and veteran homelessness was a plague that would never end. Because of you and others like you, veteran and chronic homelessness will end. On that day, we can’t wait to celebrate with you.
Help keep the momentum going!