Inside Nashville’s Plan to End Youth Homelessness

Jul 2016
Local advocate Alex Smith speaks at Nashville’s plan launch event.

After 4 months of planning, the city of Nashville has released their plan to prevent and end youth homelessness.

The Key Action Plan: Opening Doors for Youth & Young Adults Experiencing Homelessness will be led by Mark Dunkerley, Chief Strategy Officer at the Oasis Center and Judy Tackett, Assistant Director of the Nashville’s Metropolitan Homeless Commission. The plan will be supported and implemented by 21 different organizations, ranging from service providers to law enforcement to public schools to the mayor’s office!

Plan highlights include:

    • Fostering lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) safety and acceptance
      • One of Nashville’s top priorities is to expand LGBTQ competency training for service providers. 40% of young people experiencing homelessness are LGBTQ and it’s vital that all providers are safe, inclusive, and able to meet their unique needs.
    • Investing in outreach/in-reach
      • Agencies will establish a community dinner on Wednesday evenings to connect youth and young adults experiencing homelessness with agency resources.
    • Strengthening Relationships with Law Enforcement
      • At least 50% of youth experiencing homelessness will have been arrested, either as a juvenile or as an adult. It’s important to recognize that relationships are often strained between police and youth experiencing homelessness. Outreach workers and police will work together in Nashville to connect young people to the resources they need to thrive.

Nashville is fired up about the plan, and so are we! From the planning stages to the current implementation, we’ve been working alongside Nashville to help make their plan the best it can be. Our role in the process is similar to that of a coach. By offering a national perspective, insight from other communities around the country, and technical assistance around technology and marketing, we can help ensure that every player involved in the process has the tools and knowledge they need to succeed.

We’re confident in Nashville’s dedication to young people experiencing homelessness, and we can’t wait to see how this plan unfolds. We’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date throughout the process.

Check out the full plan here!