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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
Regional expert appointed to implement Knoxville/Knox County homeless plan
Homelessness Task Force
2004 Knox Homeless Study [PDF]
Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness [PDF]
Interagency Council on Homelessness
U.S. Dept. of HUD Homeless in TN Info
10/07/05 - Plan to end chronic homelessness in Knoxville-Knox County detailed
10/06/04 - Mayors announce homelessness initiative
May 1, 2006 - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale announced today the appointment of Dr. Roger Nooe, a recognized expert on homelessness, to direct the implementation of the community's Ten-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness.

Dr. Nooe has conducted biennial surveys since 1985 on the number of homeless individuals in the Knoxville area and the reasons for their homelessness. He is a professor and former associate dean of UT's College of Social Work, and has advised local agencies including the Knox County Public Defender's Office, Community Action Committee and AmeriCorps on the issue of homelessness. In addition, he served as chairman of the Ending Chronic Homelessness Task Force, comprised of representatives from public and private social service and mental health agencies, housing providers and law enforcement.

"Dr. Nooe is widely respected for his work in identifying solutions to issues surrounding homelessness and a strong believer in participation by all stakeholders in solving the problem" Mayor Ragsdale stated. "Our community is fortunate that he has agreed to lead the implementation of this strategy that emphasizes cooperation and accountability."

Mayor Haslam , Dr. Roger Nooe, Mayor Ragsdale
L to R: Mayor Bill Haslam, Dr. Roger Nooe, and Mayor Mike Ragsdale

Mayor Haslam said, "The city, county, social services agencies and the faith-based community play major roles in providing for the needs of homeless individuals. I am confident we can work together better under Dr. Nooe's leadership to address their needs more effectively and significantly reduce homelessness in our community."

The Ten-Year Plan of Ending Chronic Homelessness emphasizes coordination among agencies serving homeless individuals and stresses accountability for results. A cornerstone of the plan is the "Housing First" approach that combines affordable housing with the support services necessary to increase these individuals self sufficiency to enable them to remain in permanent housing.

The plan focuses on the chronically homeless, individuals who have been homeless for more than a year or who have had at least four episodes of homelessness within four years. These individuals place exceedingly high stress on the service system, and hamper the system's ability to focus on individuals who face incidental homelessness or are at risk for homelessness.

Although the chronically homeless account for just 10 to 15 percent of those who are homeless, they are consumers of more than 50 percent of the resources available to helping homeless individuals.

The plan also calls for full implementation of a Homeless Management Information System, an Internet-based database that shelters, housing providers, service agencies and others who work with the homeless can share client information and better coordinate case management.

Dr. Nooe and his UT colleague, David Patterson, are co-directors of the Homeless Management Information System, which was launched two years ago with a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Dr. Nooe will serve in a part-time capacity to implement the program and lay the groundwork for a full-time director. His position will be funded by both the city and county and he will report to both Mayors Haslam and Ragsdale. He will receive support from the City's Community Development Division, particularly Mike Dunthorn who served as vice chair of the Mayors' task force.

"I appreciate the commitment shown by Mayor Haslam and Mayor Ragsdale to address the issue of homelessness in Knoxville," Dr. Nooe said. "We know what needs to be done and now we have a blueprint to follow to do it."

For Immediate Release
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