In mid-August, Community Service Council’s (CSC) Housing and Homelessness and Veterans divisions partnered with the Built for Zero Taskforce to co-host an action camp on ending chronic and veteran homelessness in Tulsa.
The action camp, Built for Zero Action Camp: Journey to Zero, brought together approximately 100 of Tulsa’s front-line social workers, supervisors and leaders to celebrate the efforts of the Built for Zero Taskforce in housing 641 veterans and 187 individuals experiencing chronic homelessness over the past two years.
The action camp opened up with Jeff Jaynes, executive director at Restore Hope and former 2015 and 2016 chair of the Built for Zero Taskforce. Jaynes spoke about increasing housing through inter-agency efficiencies and supporting homelessness reduction efforts through the hiring of a housing liaison and a housing resource coordinator. Sandra Lewis, the current A Way Home for Tulsa chair and executive director at the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless also shared the improvement focus of the year for housing and coordinated outreach efforts.
The Built for Zero Taskforce received proclamations from the City of Tulsa and Tulsa County with comments from Mayor G.T. Bynum about plans for the A Better Way Program, which will provide city beautification job opportunities for the homeless. The action camp concluded with four breakout sessions in which each group selected their top two ideas for improvement within the homeless service system.
“We sought input in the breakout sessions on improving four key functions across our system: coordinated outreach, by-name-list, case conferencing and affordable housing,” said Erin Willis, Housing and Homelessness Coordinator for CSC. “I am excited to see how we can utilize these ideas with the Built for Zero Task Force.”