Nashville homelessness commission kicks into gear - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Nashville homelessness commission kicks into gear

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV-AP) -

An ambitious operation designed to put a dent into Nashville's homeless problem updated its progress Thursday, and the news was good.

After years of talking about ending homelessness, Nashville's Metropolitan Homelessness Commission is finally doing something about it.

With a new director and the help of a national nonprofit called 100,000 Homes, the group took on the ambitious goal of housing 200 people in 100 days.

On Thursday, the group announced that 189 people have moved into their own apartments since June, tripling the previous rate of housing placement.

Another 40 people have received Section 8 housing vouchers and are looking for homes.

Metro government, non-profits and landlords with affordable housing made it all happen. It's a helping hand, but not a handout. Monthly rent and utilities are now up to the residents.

Homelessness Commission Director Will Connelly said he is proud of what they have accomplished, but they are just getting started.

"Definitely, we've done a lot of work to make housing available, but the new tenant has to do so much more to maintain a lease and get their life back together to recover from homelessness. I feel the real work starts when they get there," Connelly said.

The commission's goal is to end chronic homelessness in Nashville in four years.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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