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Community Solutions and Built for Zero awarded MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change Grant

A letter from Beth, Jake, and the Built for Zero Team.
April 7, 2021


100&Change is the MacArthur Foundation’s global competition for a $100 million grant to fund a single proposal that promises “real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time.” This competition is open to organizations and collaborations working in any field, anywhere in the world and began with 755 proposals.


With this grant, Community Solutions aims to accelerate an end to homelessness in the United States. Through its Built for Zero initiative, Community Solutions will help a critical mass of at least 75 geographically and politically diverse communities reach and sustain functional zero for chronic or veteran homelessness by 2026.

In order to create more enabling conditions for all communities to reduce and end homelessness, the organization will also target data and technology requirements, funding incentives, and public policy.

An open letter to Built for Zero communities:

“You are the reason this movement is worth investing in.”

A letter to Built for Zero Communities

Last July, we were honored to find out that our proposal to accelerate the Built for Zero movement was a finalist for the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition.

We wrote then that you are the reason Built for Zero is a success, and that you are the reason this movement is worth investing in. 

Today, the MacArthur Foundation reaffirmed that in a powerful way.

Our proposal was selected as the award recipient of the $100 million competition to solve one of the most urgent issues of our time. 

We are so proud of this powerful endorsement of your belief, and ours, that homelessness is solvable.

Our aim is to help 75 communities get to functional zero by 2026. To make that a reality, we are eager to direct investments toward strengthening our work with each of you.

The details are not final, but our initial proposal targeted nearly half of this award toward supporting partner activities and making direct housing and staffing investments in Built for Zero communities. This includes passthrough funding to help communities like yours get to zero and a fund focused on helping communities with the tightest housing markets to expand housing supply.

The rest of that grant will be in service of strengthening our training, coaching and data support to your teams, and creating conditions that will help all communities across the country make progress in ending homelessness. 

We are grateful to be this work with you all, and believe as strongly as ever that we have the collective power to propel the movement to end homelessness up and over a tipping point. We also know that ending homelessness is a matter of racial justice, and that we are accelerating a more equitable future for us all. 

With gratitude,

Beth, Jake, and the Built for Zero team

P.S. Check out a video that we pulled together of messages from our staff for you.

Access the #100andChange BFZ Community Toolkit for copy and assets to participate in the celebration.