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20,000 Homes Campaign houses 21,254 of Canada’s most vulnerable homeless people. CAEH launches new national effort – Built for Zero Canada – to end chronic homelessness. Guelph-Wellington housed 508 people during the campaign.

Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) (CNW Group/Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH))

TORONTO (March 6, 2019) – Today the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) launches a new national effort to end chronic homelessness after its 20,000 Homes Campaign successfully housed 21,254 of Canada’s most vulnerable homeless people. We are now Built for Zero Canada.

Built for Zero Canada (BFZ-C) is an ambitious national change effort helping a core group of leading communities end chronic homelessness – a first step on the path to eliminating all homelessness in Canada. Guelph-Wellington joined the 20,000 Homes Campaign in December 2015 and will continue with BFZ-C.

“Joining the 20,000 Homes Campaign has enabled Guelph-Wellington to move forward as a community in a coordinated effort to address and eliminate homelessness” says Warden Linton, County of Wellington.

“Homelessness is a crisis that has lost its sense of urgency” says Tim Richter, Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness President & CEO. “The 20,000 Homes Campaign created a sense of urgency in communities across the country and helped energize efforts to end homelessness.

“Most importantly our community partners ended homelessness for 21,254 people and we learned together what it really takes to end chronic homelessness. We’ll apply those lessons through Built for Zero Canada to help communities across Canada end chronic homelessness.”

BFZ-C uses a structured, supportive and data-driven approach that focuses on optimizing local homeless systems, accelerating the adoption of proven practices and driving continuous improvement.

“Communities are using real-time, person-specific data on everyone experiencing homelessness to build more coordinated homeless systems and reduce chronic homelessness,” says Marie Morrison, 20,000 Homes Campaign Director, and now Director of Built for Zero Canada. “This relentless data-driven performance improvement approach is getting results and showing that together, we can end chronic homelessness.”

The County of Wellington was the 4th community in Canada to achieve a quality by-name-list and we have launched a Coordinated Entry System (CES) that has transformed the local homelessness serving system in our community.

“We know that not one agency or one level of government alone can address such a complex issue but that together with a common goal and a coordinated community response, we can make significant impact.  We believe ending chronic homelessness is possible in our community and the 20,000 Homes Campaign has provided us with continued inspiration to do so” says Ryan Pettipiere, Director of Housing, County of Wellington.

Core elements of the 20,000 Homes Campaign and Built for Zero Canada are embedded in Canada’s new homelessness strategy, Reaching Home, which launches in April. The 20,000 Homes Campaign was supported by a grant from Employment and Social Development Canada.

“Community leadership, evidence-based decision making and building coordinated systems are at the heart of Reaching Home” says the Hon. Jean Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. “I want to thank CAEH and most importantly the communities of the 20,000 Homes Campaign for your efforts and congratulate you on your success.”

“We have learned a great deal from our partnership with you and look forward to working closely with you through the implementation of Reaching Home. Together I believe we can meet, and even go beyond the ambitious goals of Reaching Home to cut chronic homelessness in half across the country. Together we will continue to work towards our common vision of eliminating homelessness in Canada.”

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  • The County of Wellington signed on to the 20,000 Homes Campaign in 2015 and will continue on with our work to end chronic homelessness by participating in Built for Zero Canada (BFZ-C).
  • Since joining the campaign, we have partnered to coordinate two successful joint Point-in-Time Counts, become the fourth community in Canada to establish a Quality By-Name List, and have launched a Coordinated Entry System that has transformed the local homeless-serving system.
  • 2018 Point in Time Count counted 325 individuals experiencing homelessness in Guelph-Wellington on April 23, 2018. 81% of the participants were residing in Guelph on the night of the count and the remaining 19% were residing in Wellington County.
  • With a quality By-Name-List, a strong Coordinated Entry System, and an implemented Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS), the County of Wellington is well positioned to end chronic homelessness in Guelph-Wellington.
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