Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, December 2, 2022

EPB, Homeless Coalition seek help ending homelessness

EPB is partnering with the Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition to launch Connect For Good, an effort to raise awareness about ways to help people return to permanent housing.

“People experiencing homelessness look like you and me, our children and our family members,” says Mike Smith, executive director of the Homeless Coalition. “It’s troubling to think of our loved ones facing the uncertainty of not having a home to call their own, but attainable solutions are within reach.”

Connect For Good encourages people to donate to the Flexible Housing Fund, which the Homeless Coalition manages and disperses.

The fund helps people experiencing homelessness overcome barriers to housing by providing support for back rent, utility payments, rent payments, application fees and other needs that bridge the gap to housing.

This supplements existing community resources and fills gaps in needs other agencies don’t cover.

“The Flexible Housing Fund allows us to deploy life-saving resources to people in need while we continue to work toward long-term solutions like affordable housing and workforce development,” says Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly. “Homelessness is not a challenge we can solve overnight, but if we come together as Chattanoogans in the spirit of love and giving, we can do a lot for our homeless community this holiday season.”

More than 1,400 people are experiencing homelessness in Chattanooga.

From 2021 to 2022, there was a 350% increase in children under the age of 18 experiencing homelessness in Hamilton County.

The number of people experiencing homelessness on a daily basis in southeast Tennessee has increased over 170% in the last year.

The Flex Fund has provided support to 309 people in 2022, including 94 children ages 6-18 and 34 children under the age of 5.

Ninety-seven percent of the people the Homeless Coalition assists remain out of homelessness one to two years after finding housing.

The Homeless Coalition uses established protocols to manage gifts to the Flex Fund. First, a case manager locates affordable housing for someone in need. This person then submits a request to the Homeless Coalition. Finally, the coalition verifies and processes the request before disbursing funds.

Learn more or donate

Source: EPB, Homeless Coalition