To that end, Kaiser Permanente will provide $3 million over three years in support of Community Solutions' Built for Zero initiative, with the goal of ending veteran and chronic homelessness in fifteen communities in California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, and Virginia. With a focus on real-time data, Built for Zero works with communities to adopt problem-solving tools and technologies that can help end homelessness and the conditions that create it. The initiative currently operates in more than seventy communities across the country; three of those have succeeded in ending chronic homelessness, while another nine have ended veteran homelessness.
According to the healthcare provider, mortality rates among people experiencing chronic homelessness are three to four times that of the general population. Without a safe, stable place to live, it is nearly impossible to maintain one's health or sustain health improvements achieved in a medical setting.
"Living without a home can have a dramatic impact on a person's health, yet many of the communities we serve are grappling with extreme rates of housing insecurity and homelessness." said Bechara Choucair, Kaiser Permanente's chief community health officer. "We know there is no simple solution to such a complex problem, but through strategic partnerships, such as the one with Community Solutions, we believe it can be solved."
(Photo credit: Community Solutions)