New Homelessness Planning Council
Metro Council adopted BL2018-1199 on July 3, 2018, which eliminates the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission and establishes the Nashville-Davidson County Continuum of Care Homelessness Planning Council to serve as the community's Continuum of Care (CoC) governance board.
The passage of the Metro ordinance was the last approval needed to create this unified new homelessness governance entity after the CoC general membership in May adopted a new CoC charter on the condition that Metro Council approve the ordinance. The Nashville CoC is a federal construct under the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009 and is comprised of Davidson County stakeholders who collaborate to work on preventing and ending homelessness for Nashville neighbors experiencing a housing crisis.
With the creation of the CoC Governance Board in 2009, the Nashville-Davidson County community had functioned under two governance boards. Both, the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission, which came into existence in 2005) and the CoC Governance Board were tasked with building an efficient Housing Crisis Resolution System to prevent and end homelessness for its residents.
Liz Allen Fey, former chair of the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission, said the new ordinance essentially eliminates a bifurcated approach to ending homelessness.
"We have been operating out of two systems for close to 10 years now, and it has limited Nashville's ability to impact on reducing homelessness and getting people housed," Allen Fey said. "With one body, we can harness our collective energy and look to leverage greater local and national resources to create a true coordinated entry system along with the housing and services needed."
The new Homelessness Planning Council started meeting in July 2018. It is housed as an independent board within Metro Social Services. The Homeless Impact Division of Metro Social Services (formerly named the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission staff) will support the work of the Homelessness Planning Council.
Judith Tackett, director of the Metro Homeless Impact Division, said while her team received a new name, the staff structure is not impacted by the homelessness governance change.
"As part of our role, we will continue to bring our expertise to the community and support collaborative efforts to build a system that is capable of ending homelessness quickly for everyone who loses housing," Tackett said.