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Press Release

Contra Costa County Joins Zero: 2016 Campaign to End Homelessness

Friday, November 7, 2014

Contra Costa's Homeless Program is one of 67 organizations selected to join Zero: 2106, a national campaign that aims to end veteran and chronic homelessness within two years.

The Zero: 2016 campaign, led by New York-based nonprofit Community Solutions, will provide technical assistance to local service providers and the Contra Costa Homeless Program as they enhance their strategies for helping people in these key, vulnerable demographics into permanent housing.

The Homeless Program, part of Contra Costa Health Services' Behavioral Health Division, underwent a competitive, national application process to join Zero: 2016 with support from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, local service providers and the faith community.

"It is an honor to partner with Community Solutions, an organization with a tremendous track record of helping communities develop effective strategies for delivering housing and services to people experiencing homelessness," said Lavonna Martin, Chief of Contra Costa Homeless Program.

Zero: 2016 is the follow-up project to Community Solutions' successful 100,000 Homes Campaign, which in June announced that it helped participating communities house 105,000 chronically homeless Americans in less than four years.

The new campaign aims to reduce the average daily number of homeless veterans and chronically homeless individuals in participating communities to zero by 2016, using real-time data and performance management tracking developed to accelerate housing efforts.

Community Solutions will provide hands-on coaching and data tools, and will curate a national peer-to-peer learning network to accelerate innovation across communities.

"We are deeply committed to Zero: 2016 because we believe that every person is not only housing-ready, but every person is entitled to housing," said Jasmine Tarkoff of the Multi-Faith ACTION Coalition, one of several community partners involved in bringing Zero: 2016 to the county.

The campaign formally begins in January 2015, during the national Homeless Point-in-Time Count. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently released data from the 2014 count, showing an overall national reduction in homelessness compared to the previous year.

The last full count in Contra Costa County was conducted in 2013. On a single night in January, the Point in Time Count identified 227 veterans and 1,092 people who were chronically homeless. A new count will be conducted in January, 2015 and used at the baseline for Zero: 2016 performance measures.

The 67 communities selected for Zero: 2016 represent 31 different states and the District of Columbia.

For more information about Community Solutions or the Zero: 2016 campaign, contact Jake Maguire at 347-266-0175 or

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