The fllowing is the text of Rosanne Haggerty’s speech kicking off the campaign. Rosanne is the President and Founder of Common Ground.
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
* 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
* 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
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,
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
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
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
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
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.