Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Nashville gets $10 million in CARES dollars funding to address COVID-19, designated to address homelessness.

Metro press release - Nashville has received a total of $10 million in Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funding as part of its CARES dollars to address COVID-19. These funds are designated to addressing homelessness. They are one-time funds and are exponentially higher than the usual annual ESG allocations, which was $450,000 for 2020. 

In addition to the $10 million, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provided Nashville with free technical assistance and has assigned Heather Dillashaw of ICF (icf.com) as our local consultant to use the COVID-19 allocations to improve our Housing Crisis Resolution System. The Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) is receiving and managing the grants. 

The first allocations totaling just under $1.5 million were awarded to 14 nonprofit organizations. During the first round of applications, agencies will receive funding for prevention, street outreach and Rapid-Re-Housing programs. The deadline to submit applications for the remaining grant dollars is Friday, September 18. 

The current Request for Applications (RFA) will focus on street outreach and Rapid Re-Housing services. Housing Surge In order to support the efforts to house approximately 400 individuals and families with the Emergency Solutions Grant funds, the community will work collaboratively to increase the available housing inventory through a housing surge. Under the leadership of the Mayor's Office, our community is currently looking for funding that would allow the Atlanta-based nonprofit Open Doors branch out into Nashville. Open Doors has created a centralized landlord engagement and recruitment model that will pair well with the great efforts already in the works in Nashville through countless efforts as well as our Coordinated Entry process. Local nonprofits have voiced their strong support in bringing Open Doors to Nashville to leverage their housing efforts.

Rod's Comment: After spending a career in the field of housing counseling and serving at one time in the Council as co-chair of a committee on homelessness, I continue to have an interest in this area.  I know that if one goes downtown and sees the number of homeless, one may think we have a terrible homeless problem.  Actually,  our problem is not nearly as bad as in many other cities. While homelessness in America has been increasing, homelessness in Nashville has remained flat or slightly decreased

Homelessness is a problem in all cities, but I commend Nashville for the way we have handled this difficult problem. I think we have struck the right balance between humanely caring for the homeless and discouraging homelessness camps and panhandling.  After Nashville elected the self-styled progressive Megan Barry, I feared our period of pragmatically addressing the issue would take a turn toward indulging and tolerating. I was pleasantly surprised when Mayor Barry cleared the homeless camp that had taken over Fort Negly. Mayor Cooper continues the same balanced approach, 

I also think we have struck the right balance between immediate help for the homeless and striving for longer term solutions to the problem of homelessness.  While we need to help people get the long-term care they need and get disability care to which they be entitled and find housing solutions for those who want it, we cannot do all of that at the expense of letting people freeze to death on a cold night. We have to look for long-term solutions and provide immediate help when needed. 

I am kind of stingy with my praise, but I think government entities and non-profits like MDHA, Nashville Rescue Mission, Room in the Inn, Urban Housing Solutions and various others, have done a good job of serving the least among us.  I hope Nashville uses this $10 million dollars wisely, but we have done a lot with a little in the past and I suspect we will with this money also. 

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

No comments:

Post a Comment