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Nashville Community Providers Meet Goal of Housing 43 People in June


How’s Nashville, a new community campaign to end chronic homelessness in Nashville, moved 43 chronically homeless people into permanent supportive housing meeting its goal set for June.

Will Connelly, director of the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission, said he was excited and grateful for the tremendous collaboration among provider agencies.

“We are thrilled to see this local movement spreading across the city,” Connelly said. “We would not have reached our goal for this month without the initiative of private landlords who stepped up to the plate and set aside select units at reduced rents.”

How’s Nashville partners set monthly goals to meet its overall goal of housing 200 people in 100 days – by September 12.

The goal to house 43 vulnerable and chronically homeless people in June was met the following way:
- 11 people are living in set-aside units identified by individual landlords;
- 6 veterans received VASH vouchers from the Department of Veterans Affairs (overall, 13 of the 43 people housed were identified by providers as veterans); and
- 26 people were housed by community service providers.

Connelly explained that housing  43 people this past month far exceeds previous housing placement rates. Between January and May, an average of 19 chronically homeless people were placed into permanent housing each month.
“The How’s Nashville campaign has jump-started a movement in our community and our goal is to support service providers in their continued effort to help people move into their own homes,” Connelly said.

Ashley Blum, homeless outreach supervisor for Park Center, said that what really counts is to see the reaction of people who have experienced homelessness for years and years once they open the door to their own apartment.
“Frank and Jerry are so grateful and welcoming,” Blum, who is a member of the How’s Nashville leadership team, said about Frank Clements and Jerry Jackson who were among the first persons moving into permanent supportive housing. “They can lock their door, they have a key, they make it their home.”

Clements, who had been homeless for 35 years and was the first person housed by the How’s Nashville campaign, said that having an apartment was like going from one world to another.

“It feels good to have my own place,” Clements said. “You can wake up and not worry where you will get your meals or about having to move around. It feels great… It gives me faith in mankind that this world still has people that really care.”

Jackson, who is sharing a two-bedroom apartment with Clements, said that his life changed overnight.

“To even have to walk around town to just find water was an issue,” he said, adding it was nice to have a safe place to call home.

By meeting its June housing goal, Nashville is being recognized by the national 100,000 Homes Campaign as one of the communities that are on track to ending chronic homelessness within the next four years.

Connelly thanked the many local service providers who participate in the How’s Nashville campaign including Open Table Nashville, Mental Health Cooperative, Park Center, the local VA, the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA), Nashville Cares, Room In The Inn, the Nashville Rescue Mission, Colby’s Army, United Neighborhood Health Services, Operation Stand Down, Metro Social Services, and many more.

About How’s Nashville: A community effort launched by the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission in June 2013 to end chronic homelessness in Nashville. How’s Nashville is aligned with the 100,000 Homes Campaign, a national movement to house 100,000 chronically homeless and vulnerable people by July 2014. Nashville is one of more than 200 communities participating in the 100,000 Homes Campaign.