(140) Zero: 2016 Initiative–Communities Banding Together to End Veteran Homelessness

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Golly, Miss Molly

A Blog about a Service Dog and her Veteran with PTSD

(Supporting the Veteran and the Family Caregiver)

The Molly Blog ran a story in October about Veterans losing the use of land dedicated in the 1800s to house and treat homeless Veterans. Today, we stumbled upon a good news story about Veteran homelessness that the Molly Blog team wants to share with you.

What is the Zero: 2016 Initiative?

Homelessness is a solvable problem that has lost its sense of urgency. Zero: 2016 is a rigorous national change effort designed to help a committed group of US communities end chronic and veteran homelessness outright by December 2016.

Zero: 2016 Initiative website

Initiated by Rosanne Haggert, Community Solutions was created to address housing needs and solve issues leading to and perpetuating poverty. The organization ran a successful national campaign to provide 100,000 homes in four years, housing 105,580 homeless Americans. Community Solutions later launched the Zero: 2016 initiative to end Veteran and chronic homelessness.

Zero: 2016 reports that 76 percent of their 75 member communities are on track to end Veteran homelessness in their communities by the end of 2016. Large metropolitan communities are included in the initiative, such as Los Angeles City and County, Kansas City, Metro Denver, San Diego City and County, Dallas City and County, Las Vegas and Clark County, Washington DC, and the States of Utah and West Virginia—just to name a few. (Click here to see the roster of all Zero: 2016 communities committed to ending Veteran homelessness by December 2016.)

The Zero: 2016 team offers consulting services, resources, and encouragement to local governments and to their low-income neighborhoods to address the root causes of poverty and address homelessness. Working with non-profit organizations and private donors, the effort brings financial support to communities to help in the effort. With a strong tracking system, local governments can work together to learn about other’s successes and replicate them throughout their own neighborhoods. They can also share the good news of their successes, which are mounting daily.

The Zero: 2016 initiative works. Any effort that houses homeless Veterans deserves a high paw from Miss Molly!

Molly’s Declared Recognition Days

In Tuesday’s blog, Molly and her Veteran, William, promised to share with you their choices for recognition days. Miss Molly shares her top ten.

  I am Dog, Hear Me Bark Day January 1
  Love Your Veteran Day by sharing your rawhide bone or toy with him or her February 15
  Canine Obesity Prevention Week Week of March 13
  Bark-along Week Week of April 17
  Cat Aversion Day May 20, July 5, August 29, November 7, December 2
  Free Roaming Day where dogs run free like the wind and can poop anywhere June 17
  Whale of a Tail Day to tell a story about your favorite service dog July 28
  Live Your Potential Day and train to be a service animal September 9
  Thank a Vet Day by slobbering all over your veterinarian’s office October 13
  Big Dogs Rule Day November 30
  Knick Knack Paddy Whack Give the Dog a Bone Day Every Day

As for William’s recognition day, he commented, “Every day needs to be a day we thank a Veteran for his or her service to and sacrifice for our country.”

Post your Comments:

Is your city or county a member of the Zero: 2016 initiative? If not, what might you do to encourage your city or county to join the effort to end Veteran homelessness? Please reply below.

About the blogger

Dr. Penelope “Penny” Culbreth-Graft is a retired city manager and graduate professor. She lives with her disabled Vietnam Veteran husband, William, and his service dog, Molly, on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. She writes, paints, cares for her husband, and spends time with her granddaughter.