There is nothing like a bold, bodacious goal to quicken the heart, raise all manner of doubt and suspicion and ultimately test our mettle. House 100,000 chronically homeless people? Do it by looking for them at 4:30 in the morning? Did we mention they are people who are chronically homeless? Often addicted and struggling with mental illness? Those people everyone thinks are beyond help? Yes, those people.
This initiative started in New York City, where there are significantly more resources dedicated to helping homeless people than here in Los Angeles County. In Glendale, we typically will get funding for three new units each year. Three. 3! That’s right, there are no zeroes behind that digit.
So, when we invited the 100,000 Homes Campaign to set up in Glendale and host a boot camp, we mustered up our own bodacious goal: We’ll house eleven people by July 2014. Sigh.
And then what happened?
Buoyed by generous local support and volunteers, we found 68 people, identified 38 as vulnerable and 10 as highly vulnerable. Then we moved Ken, an 81 year old veteran who had been living in his car. And then John, and next Gary, and away we went.
We did a check-in report that October. In five months we had met our 2 year goal. And we kept going. As of today, June 11, 2014, we have housed 68 of our community’s most vulnerable homeless population. And there is only one — ONE — homeless veteran left in Glendale.
Today a few of us gathered in solidarity with the 100,000 Homes Campaign, but in August we will have a proper celebration and hope you can join us. For now, catch up on the incredible national accomplishment led by the 100,000 Homes Campaign team.
Thank you for your support!
Natalie Profant Komuro, Executive Director