EPB partners with Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition to fund permanent housing ahead of holidays

Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) – EPB is partnering with the Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition to help end homelessness this Holiday season.

EPB just launched their new Connect For Good giving campaign. All funds will go directly to the Flexible Housing Fund administered by the Homeless Coalition in an effort to get people get back into permanent housing.

Sophie Moore with EPB said this is the first program of it’s kind that EPB has done and she believes it will be successful.

“This is the first time that we’ve done such a campaign. So it’s really exciting to see what our community will do to help those in need. So far, we have over $6,000 It would be great to reach $20,000. We hope that our community does what they’ve always done and amazes us with their generosity and their caring,” said Moore.  “People can help not just by donating, they can spread the word, they can help raise awareness, because a lot of times what we think homelessness looks like really isn’t what’s experienced by the people in it.”

Mike Smith is Executive Director of Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition. He said EPB provides a platform to get the word out about the Flexible Housing Fund.

“I could tell when they reached out and wanted to schedule a meeting just to talk about you know where the Connect for Good could make the best impact in the community, because they were unsure. So, they reached out and we had a conversation and it quickly became apparent that the flexible housing fund was going to be the best match,” said Smith. “What we’re seeing is that over the past few years, is a rise in homelessness. Most of that rise is coming from folks that are situationally homelessness and been forced out of their housing. The flexible housing fund is meant to be a very light touch intervention to help people just overcome that barrier of getting in housing. We work in partnership with the City of Chattanooga, as well as several service providers throughout the area. The service providers are the ones that supply the services for those that are in need.”

In correlation with Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly’s “One Chattanooga” plan, connect for good will help to close long-standing opportunity gaps across the city, including those related to housing security.

“I want to make sure that the community is aware that, you know, there’s many faces of homelessness. My base was a face of homelessness for two years. I would have been one of those that potentially could have been saved by this and I say say intentionally because programs saved my life,” said Smith. “This is our effort here, it is our hope here in these efforts that we are going to be saving lives, especially as the weather gets colder. We really need the community support to house especially all the families in our area.”

The Flex Fund has provided support to 309 people in 2022

97% of the people assisted by the Homeless Coalition stayed out of homelessness 1-2 years after finding housing.

 

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