May 04, 2012

Jake Maguire's picture Posted By Jake Maguire

Communities Aim for Rapid Results for Homeless Veterans

One of the Campaign’s major goals is to help communities house homeless veterans, but that process often looks different in every place. It can also be unexpectedly complicated and bureaucratic. This month, communities will convene across the country in an effort to change that.

Through the support of Chase and Starr Foundation, Community Solutions, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the US Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), Schaffer Consulting, and the Rapid Results Institute will begin the first phase of a powerful new initiative designed to support and guide communities making radical progress toward ending veterans homelessness. With new Rapid Results Housing Boot Camps happening in San Diego, Orlando, and Houston next week, communities across the country will set ambitious 100 day goals to achieve unimaginable outcomes around targeting chronically homeless veterans for housing and expediting the housing placement process. Communities will also strive to capitalize on congress’s recently authorized $75 Million for additional 2012 HUD/VASH vouchers. Roughly 67,000 Veterans are homeless in our country; however, with three new Rapid Results Housing Boot Camps fast approaching, we think that number is about to change.
These boot camps will serve as planning and training period for communities. Participating communities will team up with national and local leaders to develop their own local goals depending on what is needed most in their community in order to expedite and refine their veteran housing process.  As part of the training they will be prompted to set stretch goals that feel beyond their typical capacity. They will be guided through various techniques pioneered by the Rapid Results Institute to chart a path to achieving those goals over a 100 day period. As soon as the boot camp concludes, the 100-day countdown begins and communities will put their plans into action!
Seventeen communities from across the country will be participating in one of these three regional Rapid Results Housing Boot Camps, facilitated by Community Solutions and the Rapid Results Institute, starting next week with 5 communities meeting in San Diego. At these events local teams consisting of leaders from the VA, the Public Housing Authority, Continuum of Care, HUD and the nonprofit sector will collaborate for two days to set goals and outline a work plan to end veteran homelessness through the use of HUD/VASH vouchers. One of the main principles of the 100,000 Homes Campaign and the Rapid Results Institute is the belief that the most challenging problems are most practically solved by those most closely connected to them on the ground. These boot camps will be an opportunity for those voices to be heard and supported by national leaders from the VA, HUD, and USICH.
While this is the first Rapid Results Boot Camp series of the campaign, it will draw heavily on previous Housing Placement Boot Camp training events co-designed by 100,000 Homes, GOOD Magazine, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the United Way of Los Greater and Aguiñiga Design. During those events, over 70 participants used six sigma process improvement techniques to pinpoint inefficiencies in the process of housing veterans and succeeded in reducing the number of days in the housing process by 40%. But reducing the number of days to house someone does not necessarily mean that more people are being housed overall. That’s why we’ve chosen to focus not only on the rate of housing, but also on the amount of most vulnerable veterans housed in a given time. It is with this new mindset that we have partnered with the Rapid Results Institute to offer communities a training event designed to help teams achieve outcomes they never thought possible, and at an unprecedented rate.
A string of three Rapid Results Boot Camps begins next Monday in San Diego, CA   (participating communities include the San Diego City, San Diego County, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Tucson), followed by Orlando, FL on May 14th  (Orlando, Alachua County, Gainesville, New Orleans, Kenner, the state of Georgia, and Atlanta), and Houston, TX on May 21st   (Houston, Harris County, Texas Valley Coastal VAMC, San Antonio, and Detroit). After the boot camp communities will submit data in two 50-day intervals to mark their progress towards their individual goals.
We have a great sense of appreciation for all of the communities who have committed themselves to this effort, and we have the utmost confidence in what they will be able to achieve in the next 100 days. We wish all 17 communities luck!
-Sophia Garrow