Improve Local Systems

We cannot end homelessness without building efficient local systems that target resources to the most vulnerable individuals and families quickly and predictably.

In most cases, the solution to homelessness is apparent-- it's implementing that solution that often proves challenging. This is because most communities have no clear, intentionally developed process for moving homeless people from the streets to permanent housing quickly and efficiently. Typically, different local agencies and organizations own different pieces of the housing process and rarely communicate with one another. These various groups require redundant forms, applications, and interview steps and often fail to process these requirements in a regular or timely way. As a result, it often takes more than a year to move a single individual from homelessness to a home, even with sustainable funding in place.

100,000 Homes communities are committed to pulling together their multiple overlapping service systems into a single, well-oiled housing placement machine capable of moving homeless individuals into permanent housing in as little time as possible. By applying process improvement techniques drawn from industry and the private sector to local housing and human service work, many communities have been able to dramatically reduce the amount of time required to house a single homeless person by as much as 80 percent.
 
After identifying all of their homeless neighbors by name, communities have a detailed baseline against which to measure their progress. Many then choose to participate in a Rapid Results Housing Placement Boot Camp, a unique collaboration between the Campaign, the Rapid Results Institute, the US Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), and the federal departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These events bring together USICH, HUD and VA staffers, outreach teams, service providers, landlords and housing authority representatives from participating communities for a two-day slate of brainstorming and team building exercises designed to help participants revamp their local systems for housing homeless individuals.
 
Communities begin by mapping out their existing housing placement systems and spend the remaining time working together to identify ways to improve and streamline these systems, to make them quicker and more accessible for the homeless people who must utilize them. The training concludes with each community setting an “unreasonable but achievable” goal to house as many chronically homeless veterans as possible in 100 days. The countdown begins as soon as the training ends.
 
With detailed baseline figures and newly streamlined housing processes, communities are well positioned to monitor monthly performance and make calculated adjustments to improve housing placement time and move as many people into permanent homes as possible. Several communities have been able to reduce their housing placement time to as little as 30 days.