Housing First

Housing First is a proven approach to ending homelessness, especially for vulnerably, high-needs populations.

The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) has recently published a Housing First check list that serves as a tool to evaluate whether a particular housing program or a community approach is following the Housing First principles.

In addition, for partners interested in digging a little deeper, Pathways Housing First, one of the nations first Housing First program, has developed a Fidelity_Scale for programs that follow an Assertive-Community-Treatment (ACT) case management model.

As a community that is working on ending homelessness by creating a systemic approach to achieve our goal, we encourage our partner agencies to familiarize themselves with what Housing First truly entails. Information and education is the first step toward understanding our common goal – which is to make homelessness episodes rare, brief and one-time for everyone in Nashville.


First Quarter graphs

Housing Placements First Quarter 2016

In January 2015, the How’s Nashville movement launched 2016 by 2016, a local campaign to end Veteran homelessness and chronic homelessness by December 31, 2016.  This campaign is aligned with Zero: 2016, a national effort that supports our local homeless service community through resource optimization and technical assistance.

The 2016 by 2016 campaign set a goal to assist 595 local Veterans and 1,421 people experiencing chronic and/or vulnerable homelessness with permanent housing by the end of 2016.

So far a total of 352 Veterans and 834 people who were chronically homeless have been housed since the start of the 2016 by 2016 campaign. That equals an average housing placement rate of 79 people per month (23 Veterans and 55 people experiencing chronic homelessness).



We appreciate your support. Since inception of the How’s Nashville campaign, the Nashville community has housed close to 2,000 people experiencing chronic homelessness (this number includes all Veterans since January 2015).

This great achievement was only possible with your financial support. Please consider making a donation to help cover move-in costs including security and utility deposits, first month rent, some back pay, household items and furniture.

We sincerely apologize that our online donation is currently not working (we are in the process of fixing it). You can make a contribution the following way:

Make your check payable to “How’s Nashville” and mail them to: Will Connelly, Metropolitan Homelessness Commission, P.O. Box 196300, Nashville, TN, 37219-6300.

Thank you for your generosity! We will send you an official thank you note in the mail.


Focus Strategies Report Evaluating Nashville’s Homelessness Response System

The following is a letter from Will Connelly, the director of the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission, which has released a new community report that evaluates Nashville’s current homelessness response system:

“In 2015, we hired a national consulting firm, Focus Strategies, to give our community advice on how to end homelessness.  That advice is now in the form of a final report and set of recommendations that are attached to this email. While the report is lengthy, I hope you will find time to read it in the near future.

After months of hard work with Focus Strategies, MDHA, and the Frist Foundation, the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission (MHC) is pleased to share this final report.  As the director of the MHC, I believe we can come together under a strong and unified governance structure to create a housing crisis resolution system that will effectively end homelessness in Nashville.  Ending homelessness means that no one in our community has to be without a place to live for more than 30 days.  That’s the goal, and this report is our compass.

After listening to local stakeholders and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of our system, Focus Strategies provided recommendations tailored to housing all of the people experiencing homelessness in Nashville as quickly as possible. This is an incredibly urgent task, as people continue to live and die on the streets of our city.

The Metropolitan Homelessness Commission continues to prioritize ending homelessness as an urgent community crisis. Moving forward, we are dedicated to creating a system that quickly and effectively houses our neighbors who have fallen into homelessness. We look forward to partnering with you to implement the recommendations in this report and make homelessness in Nashville rare, brief, and one-time.”

Please find the reports that were published on March 23, 2016, on our Housing Crisis Resolution System tab under the About page.

2015 Housing Placements

How’s Nashville houses 1,000 in 2015!

How’s Nashville partners assisted close to 1,000 individuals including families with children during calendar year 2015. That is 100 more people within a 12-month span than in the previous 18 months.

Beginning 2015, the How’s Nashville campaign joined the national Zero: 2016 campaign (locally called the 2016 by 2016 campaign) and focused on housing people experiencing chronic homelessness and homeless veterans during 2015. The goal is to help a total of 2,016 people obtain permanent housing by the end of 2016.

To continue to follow our progress, check our monthly housing placement reports.

Opening Doors

Opening Doors, the federal plan to end homelessness

Much of our community’s work here in Nashville, especially through the How’s Nashville campaign is aligned with the federal goals outlined in Opening Doors.

Opening Doors is a plan that outlines a comprehensive federal strategy to prevent and end homelessness. We encourage you to read up on the specific goals outlined in the plan, which include:

As part of the discussion, it is important that we all understand and agree on what ending homelessness means. To that end, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness explains what ending homelessness means the following way:

“An end to homelessness means that every community will have a systematic response in place that ensures homelessness is prevented whenever possible, or if it can’t be prevented, it is a rare, brief, and non-recurring experience.

Specifically, every community will have the capacity to:

  • Quickly identify and engage people at risk of and experiencing homelessness.
  • Intervene to prevent the loss of housing and divert people from entering the homelessness services system.
  • When homelessness does occur, provide immediate access to shelter and crisis services, without barriers to entry, while permanent stable housing and appropriate supports are being secured, and quickly connect people to housing assistance and services—tailored to their unique needs and strengths—to help them achieve and maintain stable housing.”