United Housing Connections Leads Homelessness System Changes with Veterans Service Providers

GREENVILLE, SC, Nov. 4, 2021–United Housing Connections (UHC), teamed up with Greenville, SC Veteran service providers in September 2018 and set a goal to reach Functional Zero for Veteran Homelessness and redefined and implemented system changes for serving Veterans experiencing homelessness. Functional Zero Designation for Ending Veteran Homelessness is a community milestone that indicates that fewer Veterans are experiencing homelessness than are routinely exiting homelessness at any given time. According to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness ((USICH) 82 communities and 3 states have ended Veteran homelessness.

Functional Zero is a well-coordinated and efficient community change system that assures homelessness is rare, brief and non-recurring and no Veteran is forced to live on the street. This means that every Veteran has access to the supports they need and want to avoid staying on the street and move quickly to permanent housing.


“These system changes have fostered a higher level of success in our shared mission for serving Veterans experiencing homelessness. The shared goal for our Veterans Master List collaborative is to be the first community in South Carolina to achieve Functional Zero designation and declare an effective end to Veteran Homelessness,” said Lorain Crowl, CEO, UHC, “This means that this collaboration has built an effective homeless response system that supports long-term, lasting solutions that can effectively and efficiently provide permanent housing solutions to Veterans actively experiencing homelessness.”

Using the USICH-endorsed Master List Template Tool. UHC tracks the progress of every Veteran actively experiencing homelessness - the backbone for collaboration Unique Veterans experiencing homelessness are added and Veterans are removed (via placement in housing, lack of contact with service providers, or self-resolution). Updates are provided during a bi-weekly Veterans Master List meeting, cases are coordinated between service providers and updates on Veterans progress towards housing are provided, and placements into housing are celebrated. The tool helps to track our progress toward the Federal benchmarks.

From November 2018 to August 2020:
UHC recorded 297 Veterans experiencing homelessness engaged with the Veterans Master List process. Of that total, 147 (49%) were documented as permanently housed (either through the assistance of a Veterans service provider or through self-resolution). An additional 33 (11%) were non-permanently housed (living with a friend, family member, in a hotel, etc.) That left 49 Veterans (17%) currently on our “Active” list – persons we are currently working the serve – and 68 Veterans (23%) who have unfortunately dropped out of communication with service providers.

From September 2020 to October 2021:
UHC has recorded 220 Veterans experiencing homelessness as engaged with the Veterans Master List process. Of that total, 138 (62%) have been documented as permanently housed (either through the assistance of a Veterans service provider or through self-resolution). An additional 26 (12%) have been non-permanently housed (living with a friend, family member, in a hotel, etc.). That leaves 58 Veterans (26%) currently on our “Active” list – persons we are currently working to serve.

About Functional Zero for Veteran Homelessness
Functional Zero Designation for Veteran Homelessness is a milestone that indicates that fewer Veterans are experiencing homelessness than are routinely exiting homelessness at any given time The criteria and benchmarks for Functional Zero designation is determined by qualitative and quantitative measures developed by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness ((USICH), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). According to the USICH 82 communities and 3 states have ended Veteran homelessness.

About United Housing Connections (UHC)
United Housing Connections is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1997 as the Upstate Homeless Coalition. United Housing Connections’ mission is to connect people at-risk for or currently experiencing homelessness with safe, sustainable and affordable homes. UHC’s vision is to make homelessness brief, rare and non-recurring. Focused on homelessness prevention, intervention and diversion, UHC eliminates barriers for those previously denied occupancy throughout 13 counties in Upstate SC. due to complex and/or multiple obstacles such as an eviction, incarceration, bad credit or other personal, environmental, economic or civic challenges. For information about United Housing Connections, please visit unitedhousingconnections.org

About Greenville, SC Collaborative Veterans Service Providers
Alston Wilkes Society SSVF-Provides case management and short-term financial assistance for Rapid Rehousing purposes, street outreach, homelessness prevention, and serves as a primary intake point for Veterans.

Alston Wilkes Society Grant and Per Diem Transitional Housing-Provides transitional housing for Veterans, case management, and connection to additional community resources to resolve homelessness.

Housing & Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH)-Provides ongoing intensive case management, connects veterans to HCV via the Greenville Housing Authority, engages in street outreach, intake services, and provides a vast array of other supports.

Greenville VA Clinic-Provides outpatient primary care and specialty health services, including mental health care, dentistry, vision care (optometry), prescriptions, physical therapy, treatment for hearing loss (audiology), laboratory services, prosthetics, and more.

Upstate Warrior Solution-Connects Veterans to community resources, helps with Veterans benefits, serves as intake point for Veterans experiencing homelessness.

Fellow Countrymen-Operates transitional housing and emergency shelter services, case management, substance abuse counseling, and support groups.


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