Chattanooga, Hamilton County officials approve interlocal agreement

Up to $100,000 will be provided from both local governments to recently displaced Budgetel families

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — Both the Chattanooga City Council and Hamilton County Commission have come together to help those evicted from the Budgetel Inn one month ago.

Council members voted unanimously Tuesday night on a resolution that quickly assists the city’s Regional Homeless Coalition.

$50,000 from the city’s contingency fund will be contributed to the emergency hotel fund.

“Chattanooga is an incredible place and the Chattanooga spirit is strong,” said Kirsten Yates, city senior advisor for communications. “What’s so special about our community is that we really come together to support each other in times of need, and that is essentially where we’re at right now. I think it’s all the more illuminated during the holiday season.”

Exec. Director Mike Smith says around $65,000 is spent every two weeks on the recently displaced community.

He says the $100,000 from the interlocal agreement, as well as the $88,000 donated from the community, embodies the holiday spirit of giving.

“One of the children impacted, that was displaced — his birthday was today,” Smith said. “The original time that we thought we would run out of funds would’ve been today. Through additional crowdsourcing over the past week, we extended for an additional week. But now, this commitment from the city and county extends that even further and offers a little bit of security in the minds of those impacted.”

To those impacted, Smith says the message from local government and the community is one of care — something he further highlighted as Christmas approaches.

“The outpouring of love from the community has just been amazing to watch,” Smith said. “Some people have contributed one thousand, we got a 10-thousand dollar check. No amount is more special than the other, but some of them that touch you are the three dollar donations yet get — that’s someone giving what they can.”

A link to donate to the emergency hotel fund can be found here.

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