Metro hopes consolidating services in a single agency will benefit Nashville's homeless
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- Nashville’s efforts to aid the homeless have been streamlined with a single agency now responsible for the work countywide.
Metro formerly had two agencies offering homeless services. The City Council recently consolidated them into a single new department called the Metro Homeless Impact Division.
The change grew out of a multiyear conversation between city government, non-profits and ministries working with the homeless, along with members of the homeless community.
Room-in-the-Inn is one of Middle Tennessee’s largest homeless aid groups. The ministry’s Melanie Barnett says the change encourages wider participation.
“At room in the Inn especially, we believe that we do more and we’re better when we work together. And when people see that collaborative and that collective effort they want to join and be a part of it.”
Judith Tackett is the Director of the Metro Homeless Impact Division. She tells WMOT that the next step is to develop a solid three year plan for the agency; a plan that seeks input from the entire community.
Tackett says the agency also wants to develop a kind of one-stop access point for the homeless. She says right now that homeless individuals have to track down each needed service on their own and one at a time.
“Rather than doing that we are really on our way to having a more direct, ‘Here’s where you go. This is what is appropriate for you to get to the next steps to get your needs filled.’”
Nashville recently received $3.5 million new federal dollars for the homeless. Barnett and Tackett both say the consolidation helped Nashville win that grant.
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