On July 12, Rosanne Haggerty, President and Founder of Common Ground, delivered a speech to the National Alliance to End Homelessness launching the 100,000 Homes Campaign, an effort to house 100,000 long term and vulnerable homeless persons by July of 2013. The text of Ms. Haggerty's remarks follows. Check out the web site at www.100khomes.org!
Remarks of Rosanne Haggerty
Founder and President, Common Ground
National Alliance to End Homelessness Annual Meeting
“The 100,000 Homes Campaign –
Solving Homelessness; Saving Lives”
July 12, 2010
Thank you, Nan and Steve, for your leadership and for your support in getting this effort off to a great start.
As you heard from Nan and in the video, the “100,000 Homes Campaign” in its simplest form is a challenge to join our efforts together to house 100,000 vulnerable homeless individuals and families across the nation by July, 2013.
But, more than that, the 100,000 Homes Campaign is a call to action; a way for our communities and nation to recover a sense of urgency about homelessness -to remind all of us that this is a critical public health issue, and for some a matter of life and death.
The “Campaign” builds on the ten year plans that many communities have developed.
· It builds on the extraordinary work of the extraordinary people- many of whom are in this room-who are out there quietly achieving heroic gains reducing homelessness.
· It advances the new national strategic plan to end homelessness.
· And it connects innovations and leaders throughout the country to achieve an ambitious but entirely achievable goal of securing housing for 100,000 homeless individuals and families over the next three years, beginning with the most vulnerable.
Why a Campaign? It is a way for us to harness everything we’ve learned about what ends homelessness and to work together toward a clear objective. By using data to target our efforts, by focusing first on securing stable homes, and by connecting individuals and families to the supports that will help them succeed in their homes and neighborhoods-we can turn the corner on homelessness.
Joining the Campaign means bringing entire communities into the process of finding homes and providing support to vulnerable neighbors. - hospitals, veterans groups, businesses, faith based organizations and community volunteers. It means sharing what each of us knows, encouraging each other, and celebrating each other’s successes as we get the job done.
What makes us think that this is possible?
It’s been done before.
In 2004, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement challenged the nation’s hospitals to join together to reduce avoidable patient deaths by 100,000 over an 18 month period. By sharing innovations and encouraging the adoption of best practices, the hospitals sailed past that goal.
We can do the same.
We have modeled the 100,000 Homes Campaign on the 100,000 Lives Campaign, and are grateful to have Joe McCannon and Tom Nolan from IHI as partners and advisors in this effort. They remind us everyday that committed people like all of you rise to great challenges and accomplish amazing things when given a clear goal and effective tools.
And I am also proud to tell you that we are already on our way. Thanks to the tremendous work of the 34 communities that have already joined the Campaign and begun identifying and housing the most vulnerable homeless in their communities, 5,104 individuals and families have already been housed. Communities like Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix and Washington, DC have generated and shared countless innovations and shown us what is possible when we work together toward a specific, urgent goal.
I want to thank and congratulate each of the communities who have provided the core leadership and whose achievements point the way toward what is possible. Can everyone who has been part of this effort or completed a Registry Week to please stand and be acknowledged.
I also want to tell you a bit about how this all came together. It is the story of a few individuals unleashing a grassroots desire to work together in new ways to solve urgent problems in our communities.
First of all, you saw Becky Kanis in the video. She is the heart and soul of the campaign and has been the lead champion shaping this idea. She’s been determined to find a way to end street homelessness since she first started working with us in Times Square in 2003. It is an honor to be her colleague.
Our knowledge of the life and death nature of this effort comes from the work of Dr. Jim O’Connell, of Boston’s Healthcare for the Homeless. His groundbreaking research on the causes of early mortality among the homeless is the basis of the “Vulnerability Index” that is a key tool for Campaign communities.
A special acknowledgement goes to Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who was the force behind Project 50, a successful effort to house the most vulnerable homeless in Los Angeles’ Skid Row. His determination to show that something could be done inspired other communities and was a catalyst for knitting together these local initiatives into a national campaign.
Ultimately, this is about people like Maurice Williams, whom we are honored to have with us today. He now lives in his own apartment nearby, having been helped by Pathways to Housing and the District of Columbia Department of Human Services.. Maurice is one of the individuals already housed through the Campaign efforts. Just this morning, Mayor Adrian Fenty announced that the 1,000th vulnerable household had moved into housing in the District, setting an incredible example for other Campaign communities.
To accomplish this, we will need new collaborations that bring together all levels of government and all types of community resources. We are fortunate to have Barbara Poppe’s leadership at the Interagency Council on Homelessness, whose career has been all about these types of collaborations. I’m delighted to introduce Barbara,
This Campaign will also require us to reach beyond our traditional partners in homeless services and join forces with others who understand how homelessness devastates individual lives and communities. We are honored to have with us, colleagues from the United Way; housing and health care organizations, veterans groups, the faith community and business leaders, as well as longstanding partners like the Corporation for Supportive Housing. I’m delighted to introduce Deborah DeSantis of CSH.
In closing, this is about all of us, and what we can do together. We invite you all to join this movement. All communities are welcome, all partners are welcome. To join, stop by the booth outside with campaign volunteers; go to the Campaign workshop tomorrow at 1:00; or, go to the Campaign website,
You are invited to join the weekly innovation calls, to participate in registry events in communities across the country, and to be part of something much bigger than our individual efforts.
In three years, when the Campaign comes to a close, we will have a created a new reality. We will see a network of communities working together-unselfishly, resourcefully, relentlessly-to end homelessness. We will see communities that are healthy, thriving and more stable financially. We will see 100,000 vulnerable neighbors safely at home, 100,000 lives changed, and 100,000 reasons to believe that we can come together to solve the hard problems facing our communities and nation.