Asheville approves $150K for homeless street outreach effort

Press release from the City of Asheville:

Partnering with Homeward Bound, the City of Asheville will fund a full-time position to provide assertive street outreach for homeless populations not currently being served.

At their Sept. 24 meeting, City Council allocated $150,000 in the adopted Fiscal Year 2019-20 budget to Homeward Bound for homeless street outreach services. This will be used to fund a full-time staff person at $50,000 per year for three years focused on street outreach efforts.

Homeward Bound has more than 10 years of successful street outreach efforts.

This staffer will assist in multiple areas, primarily focused on outreach in areas known to be frequented by people experiencing homelessness. The outreach staffer will make referrals as needed to behavioral health and substance use disorder services, and AHOPE Day Center, run by Homeward Bound.

This staffer will also will assist the Asheville Police and Fire departments in referrals and issues related to persons experiencing homelessness, working collaboratively with APD officers to de-escalate crises and divert arrest when appropriate.

In addition, this staff person will help educate businesses and residents in areas most impacted by the presence of people experiencing homelessness.

By taking action to fund this initiative, City Council supports Asheville’s community objective of ending homelessness and working to connect vulnerable, chronically homeless people with permanent housing resources.

Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Initiative

The Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Initiative is a City-County partnership created to oversee the implementation of the community’s efforts to end homelessness by making it rare, brief, and non-recurring. The Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Initiative embraces a “housing first,” evidence-based approach that prioritizes permanent housing placement for people experiencing homelessness. Once housed, individuals and families have a stable platform from which they can recover, pursue personal goals, and improve their quality of life.

The City of Asheville supports the Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Initiative with two full-time staffers to manage funding, shape policy, and coordinate community strategies to end homelessness. Find out more by visiting the Homeless Initiative webpage on the City of Asheville website.

For the staff report and Council resolution on the homeless street outreach allocation, visit this link.

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