| Mayors announce homelessness initiative
October 6, 2004 - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam
and Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale announced today the creation of
a committee to create a 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness.
The Mayors made the announcement at the Coalition for the Homeless'
annual Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk breakfast.
National statistics estimate about 10 percent of the homeless are
'chronically homeless' - they have been homeless multiple times or
for longer than a year - and they use a much higher percentage of
the resources available to help homeless.
U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness has partnered with the U.S.
Conference of Mayors and the National Association of Counties to create
10-Year Plans to End Chronic Homelessness.
"We are excited about working on this initiative with the city and
Mayor Haslam," said Mayor Ragsdale. "Knox County through its grant
organizations and its health department plays a major role in providing
for the needs of the homeless."
"This committee will delve into the reasons for chronic homelessness
and work hard on creating solutions," Mayor Haslam said. "By working
together to create a long-range plan, the community can effectively
pool its resources to focus on this problem."
"With today's announcement, the city of Knoxville and Knox County
join in a national partnership that includes over 150 mayors and county
executives all across our country, representing over 200 jurisdictions,"
said Philip Mangano, executive director of the U.S Interagency Council
on Homelessness. "And they join with Cabinet secretaries in Washington
D.C. and Governors in 49 states and territories in a planning process
and strategy to end the homelessness of our most vulnerable neighbors."
Co-chairs of the committee are Dr. Roger Nooe, a University of Tennessee
professor in the College of Social Work who is recognized as the region's
authority on homelessness, and Kevin DuBose, of the city of Knoxville's
Department of Community and Neighborhood Services.
"We are enormously gratified by the Mayors' dedication to this project,"
said Ginny Weatherstone, president of the Knoxville Coalition for
the Homeless, an organization comprised of 27 local agencies. "With
their leadership and the efforts of the entire community, we can eliminate
homelessness for the neediest of our citizens."