Launched in 2016, the competition awards a single multiyear grant of $100 million to a project "that promises real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time." Selected from among six finalists announced in July, Community Solutions will use the funding to implement and scale Built for Zero, a data-driven, public health-focused model for ending chronic and veterans homelessness, in seventy-five communities across the United States by 2026.
The Built for Zero model leverages community-wide collaboration and quality real-time data — including the name and needs of every person experiencing homelessness — to target and allocate support and resources for individuals, test and implement systems designed to ensure racially equitable outcomes, and assess the impact of those efforts on homelessness. Community Solutions already has helped drive chronic or veteran homelessness to "functional zero" in fifteen communities, measurable reductions in homelessness in fifty-one communities, and the use of quality real-time data in eighty-three communities.
"Homelessness is curable. For too long, homelessness has been viewed as intractable and pervasive rather than a crisis worth solving," said MacArthur Foundation president John Palfrey. "More than five hundred and sixty-eight thousand people experienced homelessness on a given night in the United States before the pandemic. Community Solutions has proven that people do not have to live this way. Its racially equitable response is primed for this moment."
"We are deeply honored that Community Solutions and the Built for Zero movement have been selected as the award recipient of the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition," said Community Solutions president Rosanne Haggerty. "The award is a powerful endorsement of our shared belief that homelessness can and must be solved. It is also a testament to the leadership of communities in Built for Zero that are proving it is possible every day."
(Photo credit: Community Solutions)