The Nashville-Davidson County Homelessness Planning Council released a three-year strategic plan on Thursday. The goal of this plan is a 25-percent reduction in street and shelter homelessness.
The plan’s authors seek to achieve this through four main goals. One is to optimize resources and manage a housing inventory, including local, state, federal, private and not-for-profit housing resources. The second is to improve data collection, including quantitative and qualitative data. The third is to enhance and expand formal collaboration between organizations that seek to address homelessness. The fourth is to develop commitment through engagement, which will strive for more community engagement and good communication.
The Homelessness Planning Council was formed in July 2018, and brings together input from nonprofits, government, businesses and faith-based organizations.
Paula Foster, chair of the Homelessness Planning Council, said the Strategic Community Plan was the first community plan since 2005, when the city started a 10-year plan to address chronic homelessness.
“We wanted to ensure that this is a community plan that invites all partners who serve people experiencing housing instability to be part of the solution,” Foster said. “This document is intended to be a living plan or roadmap that guides our community and sets clear outcome measures.”
The next step for the Homelessness Planning Council is to assign organizations to implement action steps, so the different pieces of the plan can continue to move forward.
Judith Tackett, director of the Homeless Impact Division, said it’s important for our community to be able to offer multiple types of intervention, including preventive interventions, shelters, transitional housing, rapid re-housing and permanent housing.
“Bottom line, homelessness will end if our community is able to provide low-income housing with the right supports for people to truly be able to stabilize and address their needs,” Tackett said. “We know cookie-cutter, short-term approaches are not solving homelessness. It’s time to make our investments where we see real results for our neighbors who experience homelessness.”
The planning council has already helped to bring about a 10 percent increase in federal funding for local nonprofits, a 3.5 million federal grant to address youth homelessness, a 150,000 grant to assist with data improvement, and a 14 percent reduction in street and shelter homelessness as shown by the 2019 Point in Time homelessness count, a one-night count conducted in late January.