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$3.5M-grant to End Youth Homelessness

7/14/2018

Nashville is one of 11 communities that was awarded a $3.5-million grant form the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) to help end youth homelessness. 

The grant supports collaborative community efforts that develop innovative interventions to assist unaccompanied youth and young adults (YYA) including a wide range of housing interventions such as rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, and interim housing (examples: transitional housing, bridge housing, and host homes). 

"No child, teenager or young adult should have to live on the streets," Mayor David Briley said. "With a solid foundation of housing, services, planning, and data, we can end youth homelessness, and this grant will help us do it. Thank you to HUD, the Metro Homeless Impact Division, MDHA, Oasis Center and the 22 local partners who worked on the application."

In 2016, Oasis Center approached the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission (now the Metro Homeless Impact Division) and asked to co-lead a collaborative community effort to end Youth and Young Adult Homelessness in Nashville. That partnership resulted in the YHDP grant application.

"Ending youth homelessness is about building community for young people who are without a permanent, safe place to go and may have never learned what having a home means," Judith Tackett, director of the Metro Homeless Impact Division, said. "Through this grant, our Nashville community is making a commitment to our youth and young adults who are 23 years of age or younger and who struggle with homelessness. We will listen to you, we will hear you, and we will invest in you."

Ashley Oswald, 24, a member of the Continuum of Care's Youth Advisory Board, said she was homeless four years ago.

"I was homeless for 573 days. During that time, I had to drop out of college, a decision that broke my heart," Oswald said, describing how she became homeless after a medical issue put her Mom into a hospital unable to pay their rent. "Now that my housing is stable and my education needs are met, I've turned my focus on helping the community and other youth and young adults facing homelessness. Through the Youth Advisory Board, I have the platform to make my voice and the voice of others, like me heard."

The Homeless Impact Division is a part of Metro Social Services, which will administer the YHDP grant and continue to co-lead the effort to build a system that ends YYA homelessness.

Other partner agencies included are: Oasis Center (co-lead), Crossroads Campus, Dept. of Children Services, Juvenile Court, Lipscomb University, Mayor's Office, Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA), Metro Police Department, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Monroe Harding, Nashville Rescue Mission, Neighborhood Health, Oasis Center, Park Center, Room In The Inn, Safe Haven Family Shelter, True Colors Fund, United Way, Urban Housing Solutions, Mental Health Cooperative, Mid-Cumberland Resource Agency, Youth Villages,  and others who are committed to join actively moving forward.