Veteran Case Conferencing

A regional approach to end veteran homelessness in South Central Indiana

Several agencies in South Central Indiana are collaborating on a new approach to move homeless veterans more quickly into housing.

Pictured: Ava Spielman, Forrest Gilmore, Connor Starks, Steve Miller, Mary Ellis, Tatiana Wheeler, Nicole Thomas,
Minae Berryhill, and Lindsey Dominguez.
Online: Andrew Noga, Jon Laucella, Margaret VanSchaik and Hannah Gorman

Called veteran case conferencing, this is an inter-agency, client-focused meeting that targets next steps to find housing for veterans. The case conferencing group now consists of representatives from Beacon Inc, Wheeler Mission, New Hope for Families, Volunteers of America, Monroe County Veterans Affairs, Indy HealthNet Homeless Initiative Program (HIP), HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH), and Heading Home of South Central Indiana.

The group has a hybrid meeting every other week to focus on veterans experiencing homelessness in South Central Indiana. During these meetings, case managers discuss identified barriers to housing and the group problem solves ways to address those challenges.

Case conferencing has created a streamlined approach to moving veterans into housing more quickly. Since starting case conferencing in January 2023, 4 veterans have been housed!

How did this approach come about?

In May 2022, South Central Indiana was the first community in Indiana to join Built for Zero. Built for Zero is a national organization providing communities with a data-driven framework to end homelessness one population at a time. The local Built for Zero team members include Emily Pike (South Central Housing Network and New Hope for Families), Bob Goodrum (WellSpring), Danielle Sorden and Forrest Gilmore (Beacon), Melissa Burgess (HealthNet), and Heading Home’s Mary Morgan and Tatiana Wheeler.

During the May 2022 Built for Zero conference, communities were asked to choose a population on which to focus their initial efforts. Our South Central Indiana group picked ending veteran homelessness as our first focus. Built for Zero challenges communities to reach functional zero.

According to Built for Zero, functional zero is a milestone, which must be sustained, that indicates a community has measurably solved homelessness for a population. When it’s achieved, homelessness is rare and brief for that population.

In 2022, our local Built for Zero team focused on creating standard data policies and protocols. The group has also been working to create a comprehensive by-name list. A by-name list gives communities a clear understanding of who is experiencing homelessness and what their experiences are like within the system.

During the collection and analysis of this data, the local Built for Zero team decided to take a strategic approach to addressing disparities seen within the system. The need for case conferencing evolved out of the desire to make data-informed decisions to improve system outcomes.

We believe ending veteran homelessness in South Central Indiana is possible!

Learn more about Built for Zero here.