Finishing the work we started

How’s Nashville partners have made great strides in assisting people who experienced chronic homelessness over the past four years. By working collaboratively our community was able to increase the average monthly housing placement rate for people experiencing chronic homelessness from 19 people per month to 55 people per month.

Ending chronic homelessness was the original goal of How’s Nashville. Meanwhile the How’s Nashville campaign has morphed into something bigger by aligning itself with the national goals of ending chronic, Veterans, families and children, and youth homelessness as outlined in the federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness (Opening Doors).

However, if our collaboration of the past few years has taught us anything, it is that keeping a clear a focus will help us move toward the finish line. With that in mind, a recently published document by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness outlines 10 essential strategies to help reduce chronic homelessness:

  1. Start at the Top: Get state and local leaders to publicly commit to and coordinate efforts on ending chronic homelessness.
  2. Identify and be accountable to all people experiencing chronic homelessness, including people cycling through institutional settings.
  3. Ramp up outreach, in-reach, and engagement efforts.
  4. Implement a Housing-First system orientation and response.
  5. Set and hold partners accountable to ambitious short-term housing placement goals.
  6. Prioritize people experiencing chronic homelessness for existing supportive housing.
  7. Project the need for additional supportive housing and reallocate funding to take it to the scale needed.
  8. Engage and support public housing agencies and multifamily affordable housing operators to increase supportive housing through limited preferences and project-based vouchers.
  9. Leverage Medicaid and behavioral health funding to pay for services in supportive housing.
  10. Help people increase their income through employment opportunities and connections to mainstream benefits and income supports.

Read the full document published by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness in December 2016.

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