Skip to content

Built for Zero represents more than just a movement; it's a profound shift in addressing homelessness, one population at a time, across over 80 cities and counties. Spokane County United Way is an active participant in this transformative initiative, demonstrating that ending homelessness is not just a dream but a tangible reality. The core principle revolves around using data to reshape local homeless response systems, and it's making a substantial impact.


Within this collective effort, 14 communities have already reached what's known as "functional zero" for specific homeless populations, while more than half have successfully reduced the number of people experiencing chronic and veteran homelessness. Spokane County United Way's involvement in Built for Zero complements their Anchor Community Initiative, which primarily focuses on youth homelessness, marking a multi-pronged approach to addressing homelessness in their region.


How is Built for Zero's so successful?

It's all about the data!

The key to Built for Zero's success lies in its data-driven methodology, which has led to significant systemic changes. It's not just about finding shelter; it's about creating sustainable solutions. One such solution is the Centralized Diversion Fund (CDF), which offers a person-centered, strengths-based approach to secure housing solutions outside the homeless response system. By pairing diversion strategies with flexible funding, agencies can access financial resources for various needs, such as move-in costs or utility support, ultimately expediting the transition to permanent housing.


In essence, Built for Zero, in conjunction with United Way of Spokane County, is not just addressing homelessness; it's transforming the way communities tackle this issue through data, collaboration, and innovative solutions. Their work offers a beacon of hope and practical change for communities striving to make homelessness rare and brief.



Landlord engagement efforts

Built for Zero actively collaborates with landlords 

Given Spokane's challenging rental market, Built for Zero has taken proactive steps to engage with landlords. Their objective is to pinpoint and motivate landlords who are open to renting to individuals with housing subsidies or those who have previously experienced homelessness, thus facilitating broader access to permanent housing options.