The picture says it all here. A little context though: Jerry decided to stop drinking after moving in to his new apartment a little over two weeks ago. He has stayed sober for two weeks. His housing does not require sobriety, he just did some incredibly hard work. He is amazing! Folks, meet the new Jerry.
The weather is beautiful in Nashville these days and perfect for front porch sitting! A new tenant (pictured above) is enjoying the new view: children playing on the playground, birds chirping away, and neighbors coming and going. It’s quite a change from just a couple of weeks ago when a public bench next to a busy street was the only option. Private space is often taken for granted…but not by this man. Recently, he said, “I can’t even believe this. It feels like this is all a dream. It’s so nice to go to the store and come back to a place, my home, and rest. I’m having so much fun.”
It’s been 9 work days since our public briefing and the official launch of How’s Nashville, and at least 10 people experiencing homelessness have found new homes. We have 5 more move-ins scheduled this week and big plans for the rest of the summer. If the last few days are a sign, it will be a beautiful storm of application fees, mattresses, furniture, security deposits, electricity deposits, and household items! It is not always pretty, but so many people are pitching in to change how Nashville responds to homelessness. Here is a pic from one of today’s homecomings!
469 people were surveyed the week of May 27th using the Vulnerability Index. 222 of 469 (47%) were identified as vulnerable or at risk of premature death on the streets. Here are the results and the PowerPoint presentation from our June 4th public briefing:
Nashville is the best! Approximately 200 people filled the Main Library downtown on Tuesday morning to hear the results of the Registry Week and the goal of housing 200 people in 100 days (and raising $200,000 for move-in costs – $1,000 per person). Thank you to everyone who attended and pledged their support. We raised $35,000 in 5-10 minutes!…to help move-in 35 people into permanent supportive housing. So incredible. Megan Barry said it best in The Tennessean in response to the generosity on Tuesday: “That’s so typical of Nashvillians…They want to help, and all you have to do is ask.”
Here’s the link to the article:
Welcome home, Frank and Robert! We are here for you.
Thanks to all of the Registry Week volunteers (especially the data entry folks!) and 469 survey respondents who took time out of their lives to participate. What a week! As a volunteer, it was tough waking up so early each morning…but three days of sleep deprivation pales in comparison to the instability and ultimate disruption that is the hallmark of long-term homelessness.
Fortunately, our community is pumped, and there is hope and a clearer path to ending chronic homelessness in Nashville! We are working towards creating a more intentional housing placement process that instills hope, joy, choice, and respect for both the housed and unhoused. This is going to be quite a summer!