In nine months, Nashville has hit its goal to permanently house 400 people previously experiencing consistent homelessness.
Between October 2020 and July 2021, the city was able to use federal CARES Act money to help people consistently sleeping where humans aren’t meant to — shelters, outside and cars. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines this as literally homeless.
Officials have also been using federal money to get people into rental leases with support services. It gives case workers and newly housed residents time to create a sustainable long term plan.
Now, more than two dozen organizations that work with city leaders to coordinate housing efforts want the Metro Homeless Impact Division to up its goal by 200 more people.
The city will use federal housing vouchers to reach this goal. Metro’s federally funded Rapid Rehousing and Low Barrier Housing Collective programs will also be used to support the housing push.
But this extra help isn’t available to residents being evicted from their homes.
The Metro Action Commission, separately, is supporting people who have been evicted. Many of those residents couch surf before ending up on the street.
“Usually most people who are evicted do not become literally homelessness,” says Judith Tackett, director of Nashville’s Homeless Impact Division. “However, with the COVID situation, we are unsure what to expect.”
The city estimates around 2,000-2,100 people are living outside or staying in emergency shelters on any given day. This doesn’t include domestic violence shelters and other temporary programs.