Alexander, Frist Announce $2.2 Million To Fight Homelessness In Hamilton County

Posted on October 2, 2003

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today announced that Chattanooga will receive $2.2 million from the Federal Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH) to provide housing, medical care, job training and other services to the chronically homelessness. "This funding supports Chattanooga's commitment to end chronic homelessness," said Frist. "With 4,300 homeless individuals in Chattanooga, we must do more to improve support services, provide health care and permanent housing, and strengthen job trainings programs to help those most in need. President Bush has been a leader in this fight, and I'm pleased he's recognized Chattanooga's dedication to this issue through this critical funding." "This investment will mean better resources for those struggling with homelessness in Hamilton County," said Alexander. "Chattanooga is one of 11 cities across the nation to receive this critical funding. I look forward to seeing these dollars put to use for those who need help in Southeast Tennessee." Of the $2,195,550 for Chattanooga, the Fortwood Center, Inc., as the lead agency, will receive $620,550; the Chattanooga Housing Authority, $1.374 million; and the Tennessee Valley Health Care System, $201,000. The funding will be used for services to provide permanent housing, health care, mental health, substance abuse and veterans services to persons experiencing long-term to chronic homelessness. Eleven cities nationwide, including Chattanooga, received a portion of the nearly $35 million from this joint initiative by the ICH to help local communities address the special housing and service needs of homeless individuals, many of whom have mental illness, substance abuse or dependence, and physical disabilities. ICH functions as a collaborative effort by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to offer communities the opportunity to integrate resources that address the special housing and service needs of chronically homeless people. The funding allocated to Chattanooga was appropriated through HHS, HUD and VA. This is the first time that federal agencies have joined together on this scale to accomplish President Bush's goal of ending chronic homelessness within a decade. On September 18, Chattanooga signed a plan championed by ICH and the President to reduce chronic homelessness over the next decade.