Just about one year ago, Kansas City, MO launched its 100,000 Homes campaign as part of the nation-wide 100,000 Homes movement. The movement aims to place 100,000 of our most vulnerable homeless neighbors in permanent housing by July 2014, and is on track to reach that ambitious goal! The campaign operates by building a list of homeless people in a community, and bringing together case workers, outreach workers, housing providers, and other stakeholders to address each individual’s needs one-by-one.
Ehren Dohler, of reStart, as been our local campaign manager for the past year, getting the Kansas City team up and running. At the campaign’s leadership team meeting last week, he shared the following accomplishments of the campaign so far:
- Placed 99 chronically homeless and/or highly vulnerable people into permanent housing since October 2012
- Kansas City now consistently houses 2.5% of its chronic homeless population per month (about 10 people per month)
- The 100,000 Homes Vulnerability Index has been incorporated into the Point-in-Time Count
- HUD-VASH and Shelter-Plus-Care vouchers are increasingly well-utilized in Kansas City
As a participant in the campaign, I can also add an important accomplishment that’s hard to quantify; we’ve learned a ton. We’ve learned about each other, what we do, and how we get things done. We’ve learned a new process for housing people. We’ve learned about the limitations of the existing housing system, and what some of our next steps are to increase the resources available to the population we serve. We’ve learned to work more closely together.
The 100,000 Homes campaign doesn’t end when the 100,000th person is housed; it ends when everyone who needs housing is housed. It’s what we learn in working with the first 100,000 of our homeless neighbors that will make housing everyone possible.