Chattanooga City Council members got a briefing at their agenda session Tuesday on a new plan to combat homelessness that aims to harness diverse and sometimes competing groups into a more focused approach.
The four-year plan, created by Mayor Andy Berke's Interagency Council on Homelessness and consultants Analytic Insight, has four main parts:
* Identifying the homeless, which includes adding more outreach workers to find, assess and link people to services;
* Creating emergency and temporary shelters, including a 250-bed "low-barrier" emergency shelter and making more use of hotel vouchers for temporary housing;
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* Locating or creating more permanent housing, primarily through the Chattanooga Housing Authority and the Housing Choice Voucher program;
* Expanding case management and wraparound services to help newly housed people stay sheltered and receive the medical services, job skills or other programs they need to succeed.
Analytic Insight's president, Amy Flowers, and senior research assistant, Leslie Ogilvie, said the plan's success will depend on a shared vision and leadership to help agencies involved in combating homelessness work together to make the most of personnel and resources.
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Tyler Yount, of Berke's office, said the interagency council hopes to start early in the new year with parts of the plan that don't require additional funding, including forming groups to begin the planning process and developing a comprehensive resource guide.
He said existing funding in various programs can be redirected as the new plan develops, and that the interagency council expects to do private fundraising as well.
Yount said a community information session is set for Jan. 10 at the Highland Park Neighborhood Association, 1714 Duncan Ave.
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At their evening voting session, council members approved a 25-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement toward the renovation of the Patten Towers and voted to ask the Regional Planning Agency to draft language to regulate building on steep slopes and floodplains.
Anything the RPA comes up with will be subject to public discussion and a vote before adoption.
Contact Judy Walton at email@example.com or 423-757-6416.