A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

End of the 100-Day Challenge, Start of a Movement

Miami-Dade County, Florida 100-Day Challenge Community Members

In November 2018, five communities set out on a 100-Day Challenge as part of a growing national movement to prevent and end youth homelessness. Armed with goals some might have thought were impossible, they set out to help young people gain access to employment, education, health, and ultimately, safe and secure housing.


For the last three years, Rapid Results Institute (RRI), in partnership with HomeBase, A Way Home America, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, has jumpstarted communities to create a coordinated system in efforts to connect young people to safe and stable housing. RRI launched their third HUD cohort of 100-Day Challenges in November 2018 in Miami by convening providers, funders, and supporters from the following communities:  

  • Miami-Dade County, Florida
  • Prince George’s County, Maryland .
  • Sacramento, California
  • Southern Nevada/Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Suburban Cook County, Illinois

Sacramento, CA 100-Day Challenge Community Members

Each community created their own ambitious goals they were all diligently working towards in their Cohorts. With the countdown underway, the communities worked in innovative ways to connect the young people that were the most challenging to reach.

Throughout the process, the Teams were encouraged to not only center, but to prioritize young people with lived experience and youth of color. In collaboration with True Colors United and the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Cohorts were challenged to engage and empower young people in their planning and implementation process. Communities like Sacramento partnered with young people to identify issues in the system and develop creative solutions.

As the Cohort members celebrated their progress on their goals during the Sustainability Workshop, they also collaborated with the other communities to discuss challenges they saw across their regions and any ideas they had for solutions. Team Members from the five communities spent time tackling four key questions:

  • How do we sustain and grow authentic youth partnership?
  • How do we identify and secure new resources for our youth and young adult homeless system in a resources-scarce environment? What if we asked what is needed to create inclusive buy in?
  • Why aren’t all systems, including child welfare, juvenile justice, education, and workforce development working as one?
  • How do we build greater engagement and support from leaders, colleagues, and other providers to sustain and grow the work?

A poster with the same questions listed as in the bullet points above

After discussing the challenges, they asked the bold question “What if we...?” Just as bold as the idea of achieving their lofty goals they set forth at the beginning of this Challenge, they were asked to push beyond their sectors, silos, funding, and imagination to think about what would be possible through collaboration.  While this marked the end of their 100-Day Challenge, it was just the beginning of these communities ongoing commitment to ensure that ALL young people are stably housed. If 567 young people can be served in 100 Days in just these five communities, what can we do to end youth homelessness in every community?

We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or email.