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Perspective: There's good news this World Homeless Day


Today, on World Homelessness Day, we have some great news to share. The city of Rockford Health and Human Services Department has been hard at work -- and we're making significant progress in the fight against homelessness right here in Rockford.


Since 2015, we've been part of Built for Zero, a national movement of more than 100 communities working together to solve homelessness. With a data driven human-centered approach, we are turning our vision of ending homelessness into a reality. And we're not just talking about it, we're taking action. In 2017, we became the first community in Built for Zero to reach and sustain functional zero for both veteran and chronic homelessness. It's an incredible milestone and we didn't stop there. Just last year, we provided homes to 381 households: That's 381 lives changed, 381 stories rewritten. But here's the thing. We're not stopping until we reach functional zero for all populations. We're committed to solving homelessness for everyone in our community, and we're making it happen.


We have real time, by name data on everyone in our community experiencing homelessness. This helps us understand if we're making progress towards solving homelessness for everyone, knowing exactly what resources are needed to achieve this goal, and it keeps us accountable. Because of this data, we've secured additional funding to help those who are seriously mentally ill and unsheltered, so they too can find a place to call home.


So as we mark World Homelessness Day, let's celebrate the progress we've made together. But let's also remember that the path to ending homelessness for everyone will take our entire community’s support. Thank you for being part of this journey. Let's continue working together and one day we'll make homelessness a thing of the past in our beloved city.


I'm Angie Walker, and that's my perspective.

Angie Walker is the Homeless Program Coordinator with the City of Rockford Health & Human Services Department.