Housing stability is a key factor in a person’s overall health and well-being. When individuals and families experience housing instability, they are faced with with mental and physical stress and are forced to make hard choices between basic life necessities and paying for health care. With homelessness affecting more than 550,000 people every day throughout our country, the need for safe, stable, and affordable housing has never been greater.
Kaiser Permanente understands the connection between housing and health. Our impact investments aim to create more affordable housing, reduce the displacement of lower- and middle-income households, and end homelessness by ensuring access to supportive housing.
A secure, stable place to live is key to a person’s ability to thrive. Yet many of the communities we serve are grappling with extreme rates of housing insecurity and homelessness.
With this in mind, Kaiser Permanente created the Thriving Communities Fund focused on affordable housing. It’s designed to advance Kaiser Permanente’s mission to improve the health of our members and residents of our communities. The first impact investment from our “Thriving Communities Fund” will be in Oakland, California, where Kaiser Permanente’s national headquarters are located.
As part of our commitment to housing stability, Kaiser Permanente has also joined the Mayors and CEOs for U.S. Housing Investment coalition, which is dedicated to advancing long-term solutions to the nation’s housing crisis.
The coalition is a first-of-its-kind, bipartisan partnership of mayors and business leaders — including our Chairman and CEO Bernard Tyson — who have publicly committed to advancing federal policy initiatives that support affordable housing and address homelessness. These include maximizing funding for existing federally subsidized housing programs, the creation of a housing stabilization fund, and funding for housing grants that demonstrate innovative approaches to combating homelessness at the local level.
The Mayors and CEOs for U.S. Housing Investment coalition is a project of the National League of Cities.
Housing insecurity is an issue that communities all across the country are facing. And in Oakland, California, where Kaiser Permanente has its national offices, homelessness has become an acute crisis.
To address this head on, we have joined with municipal leaders and community partners to develop a plan to end homelessness, with specific attention to populations where we believe we can most immediately make an impact. In Oakland, our Challenge Sprint goal is to end chronic homelessness by 2019 for the more than 500 people over the age of 50 who are currently living unsheltered in Oakland. The Challenge Sprint uses real-time data and analytics to inform our efforts and accelerate reductions in homelessness that are attainable and lasting.
Ultimately, we aim to use Oakland’s Challenge Sprint to inform our work with 30 other communities that we serve, accelerating a national effort to end chronic homelessness within 12 months.