During June and July, How’s Nashville ran an online contest promoting our 2016 by 2016 campaign.
We encouraged partner agencies and advocates to post videos on our Facebook page supporting our goal to end Veteran homelessness by the end of this year and chronic homelessness by the end of 2016. We even ran a little contest among them for the most creative video!
Now we have a winner: the Mental Health Cooperative! Their video received the most likes on our Facebook page!
A big thank you to all our supporters and partners who actively participated in our 2016 by 2016 contest!
Between January 1 and July 31, 2015, How’s Nashville partners report that our community has assisted 569 people experiencing homelessness with permanent housing. Of these 569 people, 379 experienced chronic homelessness. The remaining 190 are Veterans who were homeless.
Overall, we increased our monthly housing placement rate from about 44 people who were chronically homeless per month last year to a little over 54 people a month since January of this year.
In January, How’s Nashville partners launched the 2016 by 2016 effort aligning itself with the national Zero: 2016 campaign and joined the national goal of ending Veterans homelessness by December 31, 2015, and chronic homelessness by December 31, 2016. The 2016 by 2016 campaign renewed our ongoing community collaboration and resulted in helping an additional 10 people who were chronically homeless obtain permanent housing every month.
Nashville advocates took advantage of the Family Options Study presentation given by Dr. Beth Shinn on Aug. 21 at the Downtown Library and started a conversation of what is happening around addressing family homelessness in our city. Shinn is one of the lead researchers of this new long-term study HUD released last month.
Will Connelly, director of the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission, spoke about the difficulties for people to find landlords accepting housing subsidies in form of housing choice (Section 8) or VASH vouchers.
502 (20%) of the 2,558 housing vouchers issued in Nashville during the past year expired because people who held a voucher were unable find a landlord to rent to them. Vouchers expired after 120 days and the voucher holder usually has to reapply for the subsidy.
The lack of rent opportunities for families was also an issue addressed by Jennifer Reason of Safe Haven Family Shelter and Matt Preston of Catholic Charities. The two organizations partner with United Way on the Siemer project providing case management and support services for families who struggle with housing instability and homelessness.
More affordable housing for low-income renters is the solution. In the meantime, How’s Nashville partners are calling on landlords to partner with them and accept housing vouchers. In return, How’s Nashville will help pay with move-in costs, and partner agencies link people with available support services to help them transition from their housing crisis to being long-term renters.
People, who obtain housing after having struggled with homelessness, generally want to increase their income to gain some independence and improve their housing stability. How’s Nashville partners gathered at a workshop this month to start conversations about the type of resources available in our community to link people with employment resources.
Nashville joins a national effort of service providers and initiatives who recognize that to end homelessness we not only need to assist people with housing opportunities but also help them maneuver through the maze of employment services.
This employment article posted by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness gives a great overview of what some cities have already done to build employment opportunities for the people we all serve.