Kaiser Permanente says it will provide $3 million over three years to an initiative that will use real-time data to help 15 communities nationwide — including the Fresno-Madera area — better understand the dynamics of local homelessness.

Portrait of Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson

“Kaiser Permanente is investing in efforts to reduce homelessness and housing insecurity because there is a proven link between housing and health.” — Bernard J. Tyson, chairman/CEO

The nonprofit health-care giant is partnering with New York-based Community Solutions on the Built for Zero initiative. Kaiser announced the $3 million investment at the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas, on Monday.

“Kaiser Permanente is investing in efforts to reduce homelessness and housing insecurity because there is a proven link between housing and health,” said Bernard J. Tyson, chairman/CEO of Kaiser Permanente.

“Addressing affordable housing and homelessness is crucial to Kaiser Permanente’s mission to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve, and to advance the economic, social and environmental conditions for health.”

Kaiser Permanente Previously Provided $150K Grant to Fresno

Just last month, Kaiser Permanente Fresno awarded $150,000 to the new Street2Home Initiative being rolled out in Fresno County. Still in the planning stages, the goal of Street2Home is to reduce homelessness in Fresno County by 50% by 2020.

The grant will support the hiring of an executive director and a facilitator/data manager for Street2Home.

Built for Zero Targets Chronic and Veterans Homelessness

Since January 2015, more than 65,000 veterans and 38,500 chronically homeless Americans have been housed by participating communities through Built for Zero. To date, three Built for Zero communities —  Bergen County, N.J.; Lancaster, Pa.; and Rockford, Ill. — have ended chronic homelessness. Nine communities have ended veteran homelessness, according to Community Solutions.

In 2018, Kaiser Permanente created a $200 million impact investment fund focused on addressing affordable housing and other factors that contribute to homelessness and the California housing crisis.

Communities the $3 Million Will Target

Six of the other 14 communities chosen Monday for Built for Zero are in California: Bakersfield, Marin County, Richmond, Riverside, Sacramento, and Santa Cruz.

The other communities are Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, Honolulu, Washington, D.C., and three counties in the greater D.C. area: Arlington (Va.), Fairfax (Va.), and Montgomery (Md.).

The Tableau Foundation recently announced additional data and analytics software support for expanding Built for Zero.

Watch: Homelessness Is Personal for Fresno Mayor Lee Brand

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