May 10, 2013

Jake Maguire's picture Posted By Jake Maguire

Campaign Reaches Halfway Milestone -- 50,000 People Housed!

We always knew this day would come, but it used to seem much further away! Today, the 100,000 Homes Campaign announced that its participating communities had housed more than 50,000 chronic and vulnerable homeless Americans. That number includes more than 1,000 families, 5,000 seniors, and 15,000 veterans of the United States armed forces. We couldn't be prouder to celebrate this day.

The milestone came in the midst of a national reporting drive, jokingly called the "100,000 Homes Report-a-thon." The drive was an effort to round up as many unreported housing placements as possible from communities across the country. Our staff believed there could be as many as 8,000 unannounced success stories out there, and by Thursday, it was clear we had been right.

Communities all over the country dug through months of data to make sure they had reported everyone who was eligible to be counted. They also examined each of the months during which they had been too busy to report their housing placements to the Campaign and diligently worked to backdate their data.

Communities like Hartford, CT; Allentown, PA; Baltimore, MD; and the Virginia Peninsula reported anywhere from 1 to 400 people housed over the last two years. The Department of Veterans Affairs also reported a sizable number of homeless veterans that it had housed.

The real breakthrough came when several large communities like San Francisco, CA and New York, NY realized they had as many as 5,000 unreported housing placements to announce to the movement. Those numbers filled in the major cities' monthly averages over the last several months and instantly lifted them into the Campaign's elite 2.5 Percent Club, a group of 31 communities nationally who are quantifiably on track to end homelessness outright in the next four years.

On Thursday afternoon, the scale finally tipped when the Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless in Baton Rouge, LA reported an additional 64 homeless people housed, catapulting the Campaign's total to a thrilling 50,048 chronic and vulnerable homeless people housed nationwide.

On Friday, as reports continued to come in, it became clear that our national total would grow well beyond 50,000, and that next week's normal reporting deadline for the month of March would lift it even higher. Even better, our data tracking shows that the movement has hit the halfway point significantly sooner than expected, lending additional momentum and support to our drive toward 100,000.

"Reaching the halfway milestone so early shows that ending homelessness isn't just possible, it's actually happening," said Campaign Director Becky Kanis. "Thanks to the work of all of these amazing communities, it's starting to become clear that we're actually going to get there together."

To celebrate the accomplishment, the Campaign staff created the fun photo above, depicting the number "50,000" with its own team members' bodies. On Friday afternoon, similar photos were pouring in from partners and participating communities to join in the fun and celebrate success together.

Have a photo of you or your team celebrating 50,000? Submit it to Jake Maguire and he'll post it on our Facebook page! All submissions welcome!