Our Strategy for Ending Veteran Homelessness

Our community adheres to the “old school” method of ending Veteran homelessness. We’ve made wonderful advances with Coordinated Intake and our HMIS system.  However, these systems still didn’t enable the level of communication and collaboration required to end Veteran homelessness.

We went back to the drawing board and to the fundamentals. One of the most successful strategies in our previous 100,000 Homes Campaign was the by-name registry of individuals experiencing homelessness. This strategy, now called the “Master List Method”, has been instrumental in other communities such as New Orleans and New York City. It is recommended as a best practice by the National Alliance to End Homelessness and has been highlighted by Community Solutions, two national organizations leading this effort.

Essentially, we’re now managing Veteran homelessness off of an excel spreadsheet. It lacks the automation of HMIS and the sophistication of Coordinated Intake. Any updates require manual input. We dedicate hours of staff time each week to maintain the list. But it works!

The strategy in a nutshell: Community partners submit data on Veterans entering the homeless system on a weekly basis. This data is uploaded to the Master List with any duplicated removed.  Providers meet on a weekly basis to review the Master List, case conference, provide updates, and assign next steps to each of the Veterans on the Master List. Outreach teams are tasked with helping to coordinate necessary follow up. Once clients are assigned to a housing program, they transition to a separate list where they are tracked until a successful housing placement is made.

Where are we currently?

          118: # of literally homeless Veterans on the Master List
            81: # of Veterans in the housing process
            78: # of Veterans housed

261 Days Remaining to 12/31/2015

Additional Resources:

National Alliance Five Steps to End Veteran Homelessness

How to Build a Master List 

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