Chattanooga may use $2.8 million in federal funds for low-barrier homeless shelter

Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / City of Chattanooga Director of Homelessness and Supportive Housing Sam Wolfe discusses the closing of the East 11th Street camp in June 2022.

Chattanooga city government may use a few million dollars in federal funding to establish a shelter to serve the homeless, including those turned away at other facilities.

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly recently shared an outline of how he hopes to use $30 million in federal money received from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The full proposal will require approval from the Chattanooga City Council, but it includes $2.8 million for the construction of the new shelter, which would fill a need local advocates say the city municipality lacks.

"Shelter isn't the solution to homelessness. Housing is - housing with support services - but this is something that we've heard from our partners," Sam Wolfe, the director of the city's Office of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press in a phone interview.