Fremont County, Colorado, has been recognized by a leading national initiative for eradicating homelessness among veterans. It’s the 12th U.S. community to meet the group’s top standard.
“Built for Zero,” an initiative led by the nonprofit Community Solutions, defines “functional zero” veteran homelessness as a community knowing each unhoused veteran by name and showing a demonstrated ability to keep that population smaller than their capability to house those people over the course of a month. In Fremont County, that number is three people.
"This milestone brings Colorado one step closer to a future where homelessness is rare and brief, and no one gets left behind,” said Colorado Department of Local Affairs Executive Director Rick Garcia in a statement. “We are hopeful that this achievement will inspire other communities to adopt a similar approach, and build on these efforts for the benefit of everyone experiencing chronic homelessness.”
An announcement from Community Solutions said Fremont earned the distinction through creating a data-driven system to identify vets experiencing homelessness and shelter them in a timely fashion. Seven partner organizations in the county, ranging from local governments and housing authorities to religious organizations, collaborated on the project.
“Ensuring those who have worked in service to this country have access to safe and secure housing is one of the most important things we can do, and I am pleased to see Fremont leading the way in what we hope will become the new standard in our state,” said. Gov. Jared Polis.
There are 80 cities and counties nationwide working on the “Build for Zero” initiative, including eight other communities in Colorado.