More than 400 people are in stable housing, thanks to a citywide effort involving Metro, the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency and several local nonprofits, according to Mayor John Cooper.
Nashville has used federal dollars from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help 436 people find housing so far—surpassing its initial, 400-person goal five months early. Meanwhile, the city is working to assist more residents and families.
“Nashville is a city known for resilience and compassion, and for being a place where we work together to solve problems,” Cooper said. “We have made strong, early progress to support neighbors with housing and other supportive services, which we know can be transformational for individuals and our entire community.”
One such neighbor who has experienced the life-changing impact of the services made available through the program is Gary Basham.
“If I hadn’t come in contact with The Salvation Army, I would probably be dead by now,” Basham said. “Housing has saved my life.”
Basham, who has stage 4 cancer, was sheltering at a local outdoor encampment in December when he enrolled in Rapid Rehousing through The Salvation Army and moved into a one-bedroom apartment. His cancer is now in remission.
“Housing makes all the difference,” said Cathy Jennings, executive director of The Contributor, another nonprofit participating in Rapid Rehousing. “To participate in and watch this collaboration among nonprofits, build on each other’s strengths, remove barriers to housing, and assist 436 of our Nashville neighbors to obtain permanent housing has been miraculous.”
The city is calling for more property owners to join Nashville’s Landlord Risk Mitigation Fund, which Mayor Cooper launched in May. It combines federal housing funding with private dollars from The Frist Foundation through United Way of Greater Nashville.
Landlords who accept federal housing vouchers can use the fund to cover up to $1,000 in property damages and up to $2,000 in missed rent payments.
Nonprofits who have received funding and are coordinating the rapid rehousing efforts:
- Catholic Charities
- Community Care Fellowship
- Nashville CARES
- Nashville Downtown Partnership
- Oasis Center
- Safe Haven Family Shelter
- Step Up on Second
- The Contributor
- The Salvation Army