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Soldier welcomed home by her son who is holding a flag

At Quicken Loans, we’re proud to help millions of Americans realize their dreams of homeownership because we know that a stable and secure home is foundational to building a great life. Unfortunately, this security is not shared by all. In the United States, there are more than 38,000 veterans struggling with homelessness. We believe this simply shouldn’t be, which is why we’re the lead sponsor of Built for Zero, a nationwide movement to end veteran homelessness.

Through Built for Zero, more than 70 communities across the country have housed more than 68,000 veterans. More importantly, 10 communities have reached “functional zero,” meaning they’ve instituted a system that has effectively ended veteran homelessness in their community. Today, we’re proud to share that another community has joined their ranks: Lake County, Illinois.

Led by the Lake County Coalition for the Homeless, Lake County Government and the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, Lake County is now among an elite group of communities throughout the nation that has officially ended veteran homelessness, based on certifications from both the federal government and Built for Zero.

Lake County joined the Built for Zero initiative in 2015 and has focused on quickly housing veterans, improving coordination across service providers and providing innovative solutions to barriers that were keeping veterans homeless.

“Since the beginning of our efforts, the coalition’s partner agencies have been working together to build a seamless system of care for homeless veterans. Strong, trusting relationships in the community were foundational to achieve the goal of ending veteran homelessness in Lake County,” said Sue Shimon, President of the Lake County Coalition for the Homeless.

This shared sense of purpose and regular collaboration is essential because it ensures that veterans who enter homelessness will receive the care and support services they need quickly. In a “functional zero” community like Lake County, the goal is to ensure that homelessness is rare, brief and non-recurring. Now there’s a system in place that makes it possible.

“I’m thrilled to see organizations working together to better our community, and it’s wonderful knowing that their hard work has helped to end veteran homelessness in Lake County,” said Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart. “This is a major accomplishment for any community and an important milestone in working toward ending all types of homelessness in our community.”

While today’s celebration marks an important step, efforts will continue to prevent and immediately address veteran homelessness in Lake County. Ongoing collaboration and continued access to sustainable housing is critical to sustain “functional zero” in Lake County.

To learn more about how Lake County and other communities have ended veteran homelessness, check out the Built for Zero website or read this interview with Rosanne Haggerty, the President and CEO of Community Solutions.

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