Kaiser Permanente announces new investments to address homelessness at SXSW

Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser announced it will provide $3 million over a three-year period to Community Solutions' Built for Zero initiative, which uses real-time data to help community leaders understand the dynamics of homelessness in their respective communities. (Ted Eytan/CC BY-SA 2.0)

Kaiser Permanente is ramping up its investments in addressing chronic homelessness, the health system announced at the annual South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas.

Kaiser announced it will provide $3 million over a three-year period to Community Solutions' Built for Zero initiative, which uses real-time data to help community leaders understand the dynamics of homelessness in their respective communities.

The 15 Kaiser Permanente communities that will participate in the partnership include several communities in California, including Sacramento, Fresno Santa Cruz, Bakersfield as well as locations in the D.C. metropolitan region, Baltimore, Denver, Atlanta and Honolulu.

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In January, Kaiser announced it would put $200 million toward initiatives targeting housing insecurity and homelessness in the communities it serves. Its first investment was the $5.2 million purchase of an affordable housing complex in Oakland, California. Kaiser and Enterprise also said they would launch a $100 million loan fund to create or maintain affordable housing units in all of the communities Kaiser Permanente serves.

RELATED: Kaiser Permanente just invested in a housing complex. Here's what it's doing with it

It's part of a comprehensive strategy, officials said, to invest in addressing the economic, social and environmental conditions that ultimately affect the health of their patients.

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

"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," he said.

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