Community Commitment to Ending Homelessness
We, the community of WSFC commit to develop and sustain a system of care that will end veteran homelessness by 12/31/15 and chronic homelessness by 12/31/16 and all homelessness by 12/31/20 by providing on-going support and development so that individuals and families connect with appropriate resources that enable them to live self-sufficient self-determined lives.
Ending Chronic Homelessness
In 2006, the City of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County adopted the Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness. The bold vision of this plan was: Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, with the full support of the community and homeless service providers, will provide effective solutions and accessible services to eliminate chronic homelessness and improve the system’s effectiveness for all persons experiencing a housing crisis. In order to achieve this vision, the City of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County created the joint Ten Year Plan Commission (TYP). With the partnership of United Way of Forsyth County, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, and the Winston-Salem Foundation, they have supported dedicated staff for the implementation of this vision. At the time our community set the goal to end chronic homelessness we had identified over 200 people experiencing chronic homelessness in our community. Since this time, we have made significant improvements to the system of care for people experiencing homelessness which have resulted in our being on the brink of ending chronic homelessness.
As of May 2019 we have 13 people identified a chronically homeless who are engaged at some level with members of the CoC. There are also 17 people identified as highly probable chronically homeless folks but have refused to participate in series. This reduction from over 200 in 2005 to between 13 to 30 folks today is the result of significant changes to our system of care. Over the last 15 years our CoC has transformed from a system that manages homeless people to on that is focused on housing people without homes. We have had to align resources differently, learn new intervention skills, develop new project types, and learn to work differently not only with our clients, but also with each other.
We have come a long way as a CoC towards our vision of ending chronic homelessness, hopefully soon we can celebrate victory of ending it for good.