Gail Kerr’s House the Homeless Fund

After a brief hiatus, we are back and will continue our weekly blog entries.

If you have missed the honor we received in the past couple of weeks from Les Kerr and the Tennessean, here is what’s happening:

Gail Kerr, the beloved Tennessean columnist who passed away on March 26, has wanted to support the How’s Nashville effort by endorsing it through her column. The Tennessean and Gail’s husband Les Kerr picked up her idea and felt it was the right way to honor her memory.

Please read more at Les Kerr’s blog.

We are humbled and honored.


How’s Nashville: Updates on All Fronts

Here is what’s happening in How’s Nashville:

  • We are working hard on the implementation of our new Central Entry System (CES) and have made our first housing match!
  • In the meantime, one of the lead brains behind our How’s Nashville movement, Metropolitan Homelessness Commission’s director Will Connelly, has been recognized as the Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 honorees for 2013. This means that our city is recognizing Will’s efforts and acknowledging the results our How’s Nashville partners have achieved this past few months!
  • We just finished our Friday Case Conferencing meeting where we discuss people who are most vulnerable in our community and how to best assist them as we move them towards housing.
  • And… today “Dr. John” just signed his lease and as we type this, he is moving into his own apartment. “Dr. John” has experienced chronic homelessness and is one of the people who proves that we need to keep in touch with every person who is still un-housed and work towards housing.

This is what it’s all about. Thank you “Dr. John” for your hard work and congratulations to your move-in!

We can do this, How’s Nashville! Thank you to all our partners!


Central Entry System Increases Collaborative Work

Today was our second Case Conference meeting where Nashville service providers meet to discuss the appropriate measures to connect people who have been homeless and are vulnerable with housing opportunities.

Since the How’s Nashville campaign launched its second 100 Day Goal, which is to create a citywide Central Entry System (CES), collaboration among our partners has increased.

Our goal is to connect 100 households (50 individuals and 50 families) with housing by May 30. In this process, Nashville is implementing a new screening tool called the VI-SPDAT, which will help determine the vulnerability of participants. The goal is to get away from a first-come, first-serve system and match people with the appropriate housing opportunity in a timely manner.

Our biggest need remains identifying landlords willing to work with us on this campaign. If you are a landlord, please contact Judith Tackett at 615-880-2360.

Will Connelley 002

40 Under 40: Will Connelly

Will Connelly will be recognized as one of the Nashville Business Journal’s 2014 40 Under 40 honorees.

Please join the How’s Nashville partners and congratulate Will Connelly who started just over a year ago as the director of the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission. He immediately set out to align Nashville with the 100,000 Homes Campaign and brought community partners representing the government, nonprofit and business sectors together to work on ending chronic homelessness in Nashville.

The honor is well deserved!

Will and Anderson

60 Minutes featuring Nashville

In case you have not had a chance to see the piece about the 100,000 Homes Campaign on 60 Minutes that features the How’s Nashville campaign as an example of what cities can do, here is the link to the online 60 Minutes story.

In addition to the report by Anderson Cooper, which was produced by Andy Court and his great team, Andy and Anderson speak about their personal experiences during the filming. Watch how Anderson and Andy see homelessness now.

If you’d like to support the local effort, please visit our support pages.

We are always looking for landlords willing to work with the How’s Nashville campaign.

Thank you to all the supporters who came out yesterday to the Library for a screening and the announcement of our new 100 Day goal.

The How’s Nashville partners will work to create a new Coordinated Entry System for Nashville and test the system by housing 50 individuals and 50 families (of highest acuity) by May 30.



How’s Nashville in Action

When walking into Diane “Mama Bear” Garton’s home nothing gives away that the lady of the house has been homeless three short months ago. Thanks to the How’s Nashville campaign, she has received a Section 8 housing voucher, been linked with disability income, and received assistance with move-in costs and furniture.

Garton, 54, couldn’t be more grateful. She said her portion of the rent is $138 a month, and she has paid a lot of attention to making her apartment a real comfortable home for herself and her dog Sunshine.

“I pray every day and thank God. Of all the things I’ve been through all my life – having things and losing them – the Lord has given me another chance to have something and I’m loving it.”

Garton is one of over 360 people who have received assistance from How’s Nashville partners since the campaign launched in June 2013.

If you would like to help, consider giving a monetary contribution. At this point, we can only accept checks. Please make them out to “How’s Nashville” and mail them to Metropolitan Homelessness Commission, attn.: Will Connelly, P.O. Box 196300, Nashville, TN, 37219-6300.

If you are a Nashville landlord who is interested to learn more about the campaign, please visit our landlord page.