Monthly Archives: September 2013

Welcome Home Party

How’s Nashville partners hosted a Welcome Home Party at the East Park Community Center today. We used the occasion to announce the achievements of our 100-day campaign.

Our campaign partners created a tremendous atmosphere where every one attending the party had the opportunity to mingle, enjoy food, laugh together, share stories, and leave with a house-warming gift. This is really what it is all about – creating a supporting and caring community where every single person has a chance to be the best he or she can be.

As you know, How’s Nashville launched a 100-day campaign on June 4 where we set a community goal to house 200 people in 100 days. During this 100-day journey, we have exceeded our expectations in many ways discovering strengths and weaknesses that will help us along the way to end chronic homelessness in Nashville within four years.

During the 100-day campaign, our community was able to assist 189 people to move into permanent supportive housing. In addition, 40 people had received Section 8 Housing vouchers (7 of whom were housed on the 100th day and are included in the 189 number).

But the actual achievements of our community are not calculated in numbers. Here are some highlights:

  • Facilitated collaborations among 30 partners from the nonprofit, business and government sectors;
  • Engaged the community to focus on ending chronic homelessness through Housing First;
  • Tripled the reported average monthly Housing Placement Rate from 19 people per month to 57 (an increase of 200%);
  • Joined the 2.5% Club of the national 100,000 Homes Campaign (at least 2.5% people identified as being vulnerable and/or chronically homeless move into permanent supportive housing each month);
  • Created community awareness around chronic homelessness and in the process raising more than $90,000 in flexible money from private donations without a fundraising campaign;
  • Met weekly with providers, all working off the same database; and
  • Encouraged community-wide reporting on monthly housing placement numbers.

Thank you to all the many supporters. Nashville is just getting started!

Move-ins continue

Our community is still counting the number of people who were able to move into their own apartments during our 100 Day Campaign (189 – as of today). But our partners have not missed a beat and continue with the many tasks that direct service providers do on a daily basis to assist people who have experienced long-term homelessness with accessing permanent supportive housing.

So far, the feedback we received from our partners about the past 100 days is that they appreciated the collaborative effort that has been created around the How’s Nashville campaign. They also would like to continue pursuing a common goal that will help keep our community focus on ending chronic homelessness. Service providers, volunteers, supporters, residents who recently moved into their own apartments – everyone is excited about the 100 Day accomplishments and ready to move along with our How’s Nashville campaign.

Our next step is to examine what we have learned from the past 100 days. What are our strength and weaknesses? Our weekly meetings for service providers offer the perfect forum for confidential, honest conversation and self-reflection that allow us to improve continuously.

Please take a minute and look at our partner list. Thank our How’s Nashville partners and if someone is not listed, please let us know so we can give credit to all our partner agencies for their efforts. How’s Nashville has grown into a true community collaboration. A big shout-out goes to the 100,000 Homes Campaign, the Rapid Results Institute, HUD officials, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the teams from our peer cities that have kept us on our toes. Thank you for all your support!

The 100 Days are Over

September 12 marks the deadline of the How’s Nashville 100-Day Campaign.

Congratulations to all our community partners. We have garnered national attention from the 100,000 Homes Campaign and peer cities that have supported us throughout the last 100 days.

In our last blog entry you can read about our achievements, which include improving a citywide collaborative effort that tripled our average monthly housing placement rate. What does this mean in regular language? Simply that by working together in an unprecedented way, How’s Nashville partners are helping people find housing.

And as John Henry, who graciously agreed to give an interview to The Tennessean yesterday (see picture), puts it,

“I’m not a person who gives up, but sometimes we get disturbed…. Being in a home helps clear our mind, clear our way of thinking, so we can move into a direction that’s more suitable to us. Sometimes we just need a helping hand.”

At least 172 people moved into their own apartments since June 4. And we are not done counting yet.

To the question, “How’s Nashville?” We now proudly respond, “We are on a roll and continue to work together to end chronic homelessness in our city!”

Thank you Nashville!

One More Week until the 100-Day Deadline

We are one week from meeting our 100 Day deadline, which is on September 12, to be exact. Our goal was to house 200 people in 100 days. We are working on the August numbers and found that as of today, our Nashville community has helped 171 people move into permanent housing in June, July and August (August numbers are still being verified). With 11 more days in September (we set our deadline at 12:01 AM on Sept. 12), we will likely get very close to our 100-day goal.

Today, the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission, one of the lead partners of the How’s Nashville campaign received our 90-Day Report. Our How’s Nashville campaign’s key achievements are:

  • Sharing housing numbers as a community;
  • Looking at the same database in our weekly provider meetings (about a dozen organizations participate);
  • Creating community awareness (and in the process raising $90,000 in flexible funds without a fundraising campaign);
  • Entering and staying in the 2.5% Club of the 100,000 Homes Campaign, which means we’re on track to end chronic homelessness in four years;
  • Trippling the housing placement rate in our community;
  • Engaging the community to focus on ending chronic homelessness through Housing First;
  • Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration!

Thank you to all our partners!

Housing = Hope

“I’d like to have a ring with my own key on it.”

That wish was one of the first things Marvin Prince, 43, shared with us, after agreeing that we follow his journey from the streets to housing. “I’d like to have my own bedroom,” Marvin said, sharing with us that his physician has told him not to sleep outdoors or in shelters due to his severe medical issues. But what can he do?

After being denied housing recently due to his criminal background, he had given up hope. Then a friend of his who, like him, had completed a Vulnerability Index survey, gave him the contact number for Madge Johnson.

Madge is one of the driving forces behind the How’s Nashville campaign. She volunteers with Open Table Nashville and serves on the campaign’s steering committee. Once Madge became Marvin’s outreach specialist, things began to change. She checked in with him regularly to see how things were going and assisting him with his housing search. Hope slowly came seeping back.

Then, last week, Madge ran into Marvin on her way to a How’s Nashville meeting. He was walking to a bus stop and barely got there when Madge called him with the news that he was approved for a Section 8 Housing Voucher.

Then, yesterday, was the briefing where he received his voucher. He cannot remember how long he’s been homeless. But it’s been many years. He first came to Nashville in 2003, and then returned in January. He’s never had an apartment here. Now Marvin hopes to find a landlord who accepts his Section 8 Housing voucher soon.