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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
Mayor Rogero Seeks Input on Draft Homelessness Plan
January 2, 2014 - Mayor Madeline Rogero today announced that she is seeking public input on a newly released draft plan to address homelessness in the City of Knoxville. The draft is available for public review and comment on the City's website, at http://www.cityofknoxville.org/development/homelessnessplandraft2014.pdf. Comments will be accepted for 45 days, so that they may be considered before finalizing the new homelessness plan. Comments can be sent to Michael Dunthorn of the City's Office on Homelessness at mdunthorn@cityofknoxville.org.

To create the plan, Mayor Rogero convened a new Mayor's Roundtable on Homelessness, bringing together the executive leadership of agencies, ministries and organizations that provide services, shelter and housing for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness in Knoxville.

The mayor and City staff then worked with the Roundtable's members to pull together strategies, public input and federal resources and requirements into a plan that makes sense for Knoxville.

"Homelessness is a complicated issue, and effective responses require collaboration among many different partners," Mayor Rogero said. "This plan is not a solution to any single problem. It is a framework that we will use to coordinate efforts to address both short-term and long-term challenges for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless."

This new plan draws from priorities established through the Compassion Knoxville public input process in 2011, from the successful components of the previous homelessness plan, and from the priorities and requirements established by federal initiatives on homelessness. The Compassion Knoxville process gathered input from more than 500 individuals through 43 public meetings and online comments.

The plan focuses on preventing homelessness and helping those who have become homeless find stable, permanent housing, so that they can reconnect with and contribute back to the community. Its strategies emphasize collaboration and accountability for all partners in the effort, from homeless individuals to service agencies and local government.

The new plan is comprehensive, addressing the needs of not only the chronically homeless, but also other populations facing this issue, including military veterans, families with children, the elderly and others. The plan challenges the Knoxville community to not only meet immediate needs, but also to focus on long-term solutions that solve difficult problems, rather than just react to them.

Implementation of the plan will be coordinated by the Office on Homelessness, a part of the City of Knoxville's Department of Community Development.

The plan centers on five main strategies to address homelessness, and further breaks those down into numerous action steps to be taken in both the near and longer terms. Successes and challenges in implementing the plan will be regularly reported back to the community.

The framework of the plan is also structured to provide ongoing feedback and input to the Office on Homelessness, so that the plan may be continuously updated as objectives are achieved and new challenges arise.

The City will conduct a public input session on at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 11th at the Cansler Family YMCA, 616 Jessamine St. A City Council workshop on the proposed plan will be held at 5:30 p.m. on March 13 in the Main Assembly Room of the City County Building.
For Immediate Release
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