Scattergood Foundation

Advancing Innovative Strategies for Change in Behavioral Health

Community Solutions

Name of Innovative Program: 
100,000 Homes Campaign
Sponsoring Organization
Community Solutions
Name of Innovative Program Lead: 
Community Solutions
E-mail Address of Innovative Program Lead: 
apdelja@cmtysolutions.org
Project Description: 
Community Solutions is leading a national effort to transform the way that communities respond to homelessness among vulnerable people with behavioral and physical health conditions.  The 100,000 Homes Campaign trains communities to utilize public health strategies to identify every homeless person on their streets by name and to document behavioral and physical health issues through the use of a “Vulnerability Index” referenced to the conditions linked to early mortality.   To date, 180 communities  across the United States have joined our effort and share the goal of finding and housing 100,000 of the most long-term and vulnerable homeless people in the United States by July 2014. In the just over two years since the Campaign was launched, over 30,000 vulnerable homeless people have been housed.  Of the tens of thousands of people identified and housed, 48% have a severe mental illness, and 59% report a substance abuse problem.
Creativity and Innovation: 
The Campaign transforms  the way that local housing and behavioral health systems connect around the most vulnerable people by sharing innovative tools and practices including:
  • The Vulnerability Index, a survey that captures each homeless person’s name and health and behavioral conditions associated in the research with a high mortality risk.  Trained volunteers create a “registry”  of those on the street and their health/behavioral health conditions,  identifying and prioritizing the most vulnerable for assistance.
  • The Rapid Results Housing Placement Boot Camp.  This system improvement process brings together key local stakeholders from multiple public and private agencies to reform their housing placement process within 100 days.  This process has helped communities cut in half the number of steps or days it takes to house a vulnerable person,  double placement rates and improve by up to 75% the targeting of scarce housing resources to those who need them the most.  
Leadership: 
The ambition and clarity of Campaign’s goal, and its unique focus on the rapid dissemination of innovation across geographic and sector divides, has spurred sweeping innovation  and profound change in the housing and behavioral health systems in local communities.  Communities had for years attempted to design, finance, and develop various programs  for homeless people, with behavioral health conditions, but were having limited impact on the rates of homelessness.  We recognized that what was needed was a disciplined, transparent, measurable and quick housing placement system that prioritizes those least able to find their way out of homelessness because health and behavioral health issues.
Sustainability: 
The Campaign is on track to achieve the goal of housing 100,000 long-term and vulnerable homeless people by July 2014.  We are focused on the successful completion of the Campaign, including a major initiative within the Campaign to end homelessness among veterans.  We will soon launch an initiative to improve the identification of the most vulnerable homelessness families.  Also, we have begun sharing the Campaign methodology with partners in Canada, Australia and Ireland where leaders are launching local Campaigns in major cities. We  have presented on the Campaign methodology to leaders of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  We are also actively planning for the transition of the Campaign, post July 2014, to become an on-going data-based performance feedback and coaching  initiative to support local communities in improving their response to vulnerable people at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
Replicability: 
In addition to our methodology already spreading to 180 communities in the United States, Community Solutions has provided assistance to several international teams in implementing elements of the 100,000 Homes Campaign.  Specifically, Calgary, Canada, and Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Tasmania, Australia have all completed Registry Weeks using the Vulnerability Index and are prioritizing their most vulnerable homeless residents, almost half of whom have a mental health and substance abuse problem,  for expedited housing placement.  Galway and Dublin, Ireland are planning to introduce the methodology in 2013.  We introduced our methodology to European homeless services organizations and government staff this past November at a meeting of the OECD with promising indications of wider adoption.
Results/Outcomes: 
  • To date,  180 US communities have signed on to the Campaign.  Collectively, they have housed over 30,000 chronically homeless and vulnerable individuals and families
  • Over 8,000 volunteers have been mobilized to survey homeless individuals as part of local registry weeks
  • Over 128 communities have been trained in the 3-day Registry Week Boot Camp, receiving intensive support in implementing their Registry Week
  • Over 40,000 people have been identified by the Vulnerability Index as vulnerable to death on the streets
  • Over 75 registry weeks have been completed, providing a photographic, by-name database of each community’s vulnerable homeless residents
  • Over 20 communities have been trained in the 100-day Rapid Results Housing Placement Boot Camp, resulting in a doubling in the housing placement rate in some communities
  • Over 20 enrolled communities are exceeding the 2.5%/month housing placement benchmark that correlates with ending chronic/vulnerable homelessness within four years.
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