GREENSBORO, N.C. (November 7, 2017) — Phillips Foundation provided catalytic capital to Partners Ending Homelessness (PEH) from 2013-2016, through United Way of Greater Greensboro, in grant support totaling $1.96 million. In 2013, there were 143 cases of chronic homelessness in Guilford County. This summer, that count was down to only three. Bergen County, New Jersey, and Rockford, Illinois, are the only two communities to date that have achieved a sustainable zero in chronic homelessness, and Guilford County is now one of five communities in the country close to reaching the same goal.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines chronic homelessness as “either (1) an unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who has been continuously homeless for a year or more, OR (2) an unaccompanied individual with a disabling condition who has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.” It is estimated that each case of chronic homelessness costs Guilford County taxpayers approximately $30,000 per year in emergency services and subsidized care. By implementing national best practices and evidence-based approaches, such as the Housing First model and creating an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team, the Foundation’s grant allowed for Partners Ending Homelessness’ efforts to save Guilford County taxpayers $3.78 million over the course of the grant with millions in ongoing annual cost savings anticipated due to the new system in place.
Since Partners Ending Homelessness implemented the Phillips Foundation grant, chronically homeless individuals and households who enter the Continuum of Care (CoC) in Guilford County are rapidly rehoused and provided with specialized services and resources for their individual needs to keep them in their homes sustainably and living as self-sufficiently as possible. At this point, 135 of the first participants have all shown improved health, housing stability, and financial sustainability for at least a year. While numbers of homeless cases always fluctuate with people entering and exiting a CoC, communities are able to claim sustainable zero system status as long as the number of people who are chronically homeless is at or below the monthly housing placement rate for this demographic.
“Partners Ending Homelessness is extremely grateful for the investment and vision of the Phillips Foundation. Their seed funding of this community effort strengthened a system that is working hard every day to solve homelessness,” said Brian Hahne, executive director of Partners Ending Homelessness. “This early success speaks to the effectiveness of PEH’s collaborative network of nearly 50 solutions-oriented partners across Guilford County focused on getting the job done. We look forward to other partners joining us in this important work.”
Because of Guilford County’s success with Housing First implementation, it was selected as one of 72 communities in the U.S. to participate in Community Solutions’ “Built for Zero” initiative, which seeks to measurably and sustainably end chronic and veteran homelessness around the country, one community at a time.
“The goal has always been to end chronic homelessness in Guilford County and to create the systems change necessary to solve homelessness across its various subcategories. Through a county-wide collective effort, Partners Ending Homelessness has made incredible progress toward this goal,” said Elizabeth Phillips, executive director of the Phillips Foundation. “We remain hopeful that with continued community support and public-private partnership, the ultimate objective of reaching a sustainable zero in chronic homelessness is in sight, setting an example for the nation.”
How to Help the Homeless During the Holidays
The chronically homeless represent approximately 20% of the entire homeless population. Cold winter weather disproportionately affects those without reliable access to stable housing. Many agencies that serve the homeless population recommend the following action items to those who would like to help immediately:
About Phillips Foundation
Founded in 2002 and fully funded by 2014, the Phillips Foundation represents the philanthropic legacy of its founder, Kermit G. Phillips, II, a successful real estate entrepreneur from Greensboro, N.C. The current Board of Trustees leverages the Phillips Foundation as a catalytic capital platform for positive change through impact investing, strategic grants, and original programs. For more information, visit PhillipsFoundationNC.org. Phillips Foundation currently does not accept unsolicited grant applications.
About Partners Ending Homelessness (PEH)
Partners Ending Homelessness is a United Way of Greater Greensboro partner that connects, supports and advocates for a strong, collaborative network of nearly 50 community agencies focused on solutions to end homelessness.
About United Way of Greater Greensboro
United Way of Greater Greensboro makes investments in our community to serve those in need so that all individuals and families can succeed. United Way is a worldwide network in 41 countries and territories, including more than 1,200 local organizations in the U.S. United Way recruits people and organizations who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. To give, advocate and volunteer, visit UnitedWayGSO.org.