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Youth Homelessness

In June 2016, after four months of planning, Nashville youth and young adult (YYA) homelessness providers came together to announce a new plan called The Key Action Plan: Opening Doors for Youth & Young Adults Experiencing Homelessness in Nashville.

It is important to understand that The Key Action Plan is not a strategic plan – rather, it is an 18-month, action-oriented plan that builds the starting point for developing a collaborative, comprehensive approach to addressing YYA homelessness in our city. The plan is aligned with the federal framework to end youth homelessness.

Since then, the community partners have shifted from planning to implementing the action steps outlined in the plan. Some of the updates include:

  • Funding was secured to assist YYA who ask for help from Traveler’s Aid at the Rescue Mission to be reunited with family.
  • LGBT cultural competency trainings are offered to local homelessness providers.
  • Police officers started a pilot project to work closely with a street outreach team.
  • Nashville participated in the Voices of Youth Count project, which will result in better local data on YYA homelessness.
  • A team is working on coordinated entry for YYA to help improve access to appropriate services.
  • YYA dedicated shelter beds will be offered on 7 days a week during the cold weather months.
  • A community dinner will be held at Room In The Inn for YYA struggling with homelessness.
  • Oasis Center and Urban Housing Solutions created a partnership to designate 19 units for permanent supportive housing opportunities for YYA.
  • Workforce development discussions for youth in our city are including a focus on YYA experiencing homelessness.

Please check out the Website that contains information on The Key Action Plan and follow the effort on Facebook/KeyPlanNashville

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Who has influenced the way we speak about ending homelessness?

A recent article lists 10 of the most influential people who have impacted the way we talk about homelessness in America today.

The How’s Nashville movement was created as the local effort in support of the 100,000 Homes Campaign, which was led by Community Solutions. Rosanne Haggerty (pictured here), president and CEO of Community Solutions, is just one of the leaders featured in this article.

Groups who work toward preventing and ending homelessness for individuals, families with children, and unaccompanied youth, look to national leaders for ideas and guidance on how we can achieve our goals.

 

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The role of funders in ending homelessness

We all understand the importance of private funders in supporting the goals of the private sector. That’s why the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission is engaged in preliminary talks with funders who are interested in learning more about what roles private foundations play in other cities. We organized an initial exploratory call with Funders Together to End Homelessness after hearing them speak at the National Alliance to End Homelessness conference in August.

Funders Together is a national nonprofit organization that provides technical assistance to local and regional funders who are interested in organizing around the goal of ending homelessness. What we learned in that call is that Nashville is in a great starting place with the Focus Strategies Report, which allows funders to have a starting discussion on the role they could play to implement a systemic approach to move Nashvillians out of homelessness.

The next steps? The Homelessness Commission will continue our conversation with local funders and if there is critical interest, we will help them link with resources available through Funders Together.

2nd quarter 2016

Housing Placements 2nd Quarter 2016

Do you recall when in early 2015, the How’s Nashville leadership group decided to participate in the Zero: 2016 campaign? Consequently, the local community set a goal to house 2,016 people by 2016.

As a community, we wanted to assist 1,421 people who were experiencing chronic homelessness or were literally homeless and extremely vulnerable with permanent supportive housing. In addition, we set a goal to help 595 Veterans obtain permanent housing.

The most recent housing placement data shows… we are within reach of our 2016 by 2016 goal!

To date, the Nashville community through the How’s Nashville initiative has assisted 1,025 people experiencing chronic homelessness and 412 Veterans. In addition, How’s Nashville partners managed to set a new record in May by assisting 88 people experiencing chronic homelessness with housing.

Congratulations, Nashville provider agencies!

 

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What does it mean to end chronic homelessness?

Opening Doors, the federal strategic plan to end homelessness in America, outlines the following goals:

But what does it mean to end homelessness?

The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) is outlining specific criteria and benchmarks on how to achieve these different goals and what they mean.

Most recently, the USICH released information what ending chronic homelessness means.

Here are the main criteria for achieving an end to chronic homelessness at the local level:

  1. The community has identified and provided outreach to all individuals experiencing or at risk for chronic homelessness, and prevents chronic homelessness whenever possible.
  2. The community provides access to shelter or other temporary accommodations immediately to any person experiencing unsheltered chronic homelessness who wants it.
  3. The community has implemented a community-wide Housing First orientation and response that also considers the preferences of the individuals being served.
  4. The community assists individuals experiencing chronic homelessness to move swiftly into permanent housing with the appropriate level of supportive services and effectively prioritizes people for permanent supportive housing.
  5. The community has resources, plans, and system capacity in place to prevent chronic homelessness from occurring and to ensure that individuals who experienced chronic homelessness do not fall into homelessness again or, if they do, are quickly reconnected to permanent housing.

 

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Hospital to Home

The Hospital to Home (H2H) project strives to provide coordinated pathways to permanent supportive housing for some of Nashville/Davidson County’s most medically vulnerable, homeless residents.  The newly assembled H2H Steering Committee, including representatives from 4 local hospitals, 3 federally qualified health centers, and the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission (MHC), met for the first time on March 4, 2016.  Current H2H multi-sector strategic planning efforts addressing housing, care coordination, and data sharing are framed by a collective impact model – particularly suited for complex, systemic problems like improving stable housing placements and medical access and care for some of our most vulnerable neighbors.

Focus Strategies has recently provided technical assistance to MHC and the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) producing recommendations on systems re-design – including the creation of a Housing Crisis Resolution System (HCRS).  An HCRS speaks to systems transformation – shifting from a set of homeless services that only ameliorate the immediate crisis of homelessness to a crisis response system that can help prevent and resolve it.  It is anticipated that the establishment of H2H Coordinating Teams at local health care delivery sites (i.e., emergency rooms, hospitals, health clinics) will become a component part of Nashville’s new coordinated entry system – an essential feature of the overall HCRS.