Story originally published on Main Street Nashville.
A total of $267 million in direct relief is coming to the Metro government from the American Rescue Plan, approved by Congress in March. Metro has until Dec. 31, 2024, to spend or allocate the funds. Metro Nashville Public Schools will receive a further $277 million, and $45 million more will go to the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority.
Metro Council members are set to vote on how to allocate more than $5.6 million in federal COVID-19 relief dollars during Tuesday’s meeting, with significant funding aimed at addressing issues surrounding Nashville’s homeless community.
A total of $267 million in direct relief is coming to the Metro government from the American Rescue Plan, approved by Congress in March. Metro has until Dec. 31, 2024, to spend or allocate the funds. Metro Nashville Public Schools will receive a further $277 million, and $45 million more will go to the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority. Nashville’s COVID-19 Financial Oversight Committee makes recommendations and oversees the use of the funds.
On Tuesday, council members are set to vote on a series of resolutions allocating ARP funds for homeless services, shelters, and encampment management, as well as allocations for the Office of Emergency Management’s continued COVID-19 response and funding for three fellows from FUSE Corps.
Focus on services for the unhoused
Council members will vote Tuesday on a resolution to provide $1.5 million in ARP funds to the Homeless Impact Division of Metro Social Services for shelter, outreach, sanitation and transportation for homeless individuals.
If approved, the $1.5 million will be used to:
Staff a four-person “Flex Team” to be responsible for emergency sheltering and COVID-19 response for the unhoused for 12 months
Provide cold-weather transportation to bring homeless people in need to Metro COVID-19 emergency facilities
Expand homeless emergency shelter capacity during cold and inclement weather
Expand capacity for street outreach assisting homeless people in applying for Social Security, disability and insurance benefits
Equip and maintain four sanitation stations providing portable restrooms and handwashing stations positioned near homeless encampments
Provide sign-up bonuses to incentivize landlords to accept housing choice vouchers and lower barriers to housing for people transitioning out of homelessness
Purchase a new van to facilitate delivery of meals to disabled and homebound seniors
Another resolution up for approval Tuesday would allocate $1.9 million in ARP funds to the Metro Parks Department, to be used for managing homeless encampments and to renovate and repair Brookmeade Park, where homeless encampments have prompted a public safety advisory from Greenways for Nashville.