With the fast pacing population growth, homelessness is a major issue that needs to be dealt with urgently. Although homelessness is a complicated issue, it still can be tackled with the right intervention. The success of three US cities tackling this major issue tells tales about this.
Many policy-makers and non-profit organizations all around the world have dealt elaborately with homelessness for decades now. And like poverty, the homelessness too got tagged as an issue that will always exist. But a US national program called “Built for Zero”, is proving all of them wrong, lamenting there is still a glimmer of hope, to tackle this issue.
A recent Gallup poll last year, in Dec. 2018, revealed that homelessness is among the top five concerns that America is facing, marching ahead of other healthcare, crime, and unemployment worries that Americans are facing.
The “Built for Zero” program is led by a non-profit called Community Solutions, which employs sophisticated analytics tools to track the lives of homeless individuals in the USA, fetching actionable insight to government and other concerned agencies to intervene for help and provide them housing.
So far, the results of the program have been astonishing, with three municipalities: Bergen County, New Jersey; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Rockford, Illinois, reporting the end of the so-called “chronic homelessness”, where individuals have been living rough for over a year.
Furthermore, nine cities – the latest being Abilene, Texas – have reported ending homelessness among military veterans, a much hard to reach group, using the “Built for Zero” program.
The program achieved a major breakthrough, by employing Tableau software, which is renowned for on-screen visualizations of complex data. On Monday, Mar. 11th 2019, the Tableau Foundation announced $1.3 million investment into Community Solutions, to extend its support for the “Built for Zero” program.
Lindsey Giblin, lead at Built for Zero, said: “Homelessness isn’t just a housing, public health or policy issue. It’s also a data issue. Local leaders need current, accurate data to tackle the issue head-on.”