Adopt A Unit – help with housing

The Key Alliance is launching a new congregational initiative called Adopt A Unit.

In a nutshell, under the Adopt A Unit initiative, a congregation helps a Housing First participant establish a household unit.

The Key Alliance is the nonprofit fundraising arm of the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission. As such we are all about ending chronic homelessness and reducing overall homelessness in Nashville as described in the city’s 10 Year Plan. In other words, we promote permanent solutions.

We know that Housing First, a national best-practice model to help take people experiencing homelessness off the street, works. At The Key Alliance, we have a formula for success, which is: Housing + Case Management + Income = A Reduction in Homelessness.

The Key to Homelessness is Housing

Housing First offers permanent housing. The key to keeping a chronically homeless person housed is intensive case management. We work with master’s level social workers who have a case load ratio of 1:12 and are available to their clients on a 24/7 basis. A regular income, which can be social security or disability benefits or employment, will help a person move to self-sufficiency.

Housing First is cost-effective. The Key Alliance aims to raise $17,000 per person per year -$6,000 for permanent housing and $9,000-$11,000 for case management.

Yet, homeless persons enter housing with nothing but their clothes and the belongings they can carry. What often happens is, once we manage to raise the money for a person to come off the street, that person moves into an empty low-income apartment.

Adopt A Unit helps people be successful

Our new Adopt A Unit initiative is all about helping a person move into housing and setting him or her up for success.

How does the program work? A congregation interested in adopting a unit should:

1. Contact our Housing Coordinator, Carolyn Cooper at The Key Alliance, carolyn.cooper@nashville.gov or 615-880-2293 for information.

2. Form a dedicated committee to Adopt A Unit.

3. Set up a meeting with Carolyn, so your group can ask questions, talk about Housing First and what the Adopt A Unit initiative entails.

In summary, the Adopt A Unit initiative looks at the absolutely necessary items to set up a person in his or her first apartment.

You probably vividly remember when you moved into your first apartment, how proud you were and how you received a few hand-me-downs and house-warming gifts from your family and friends.

Adopt A Unit is an initiative imitating that warm spirit of friendship and pride. Moving off the street into housing is a big step for a person who has become used to focus on daily survival. The people our case managers work with know that they have to make a few changes in their lives and are willing to do so.

Having a few furnishings and household items, even if it is just the bare essentials, is much more encouraging than entering an empty apartment and starting to unfold the bedroll that was used when sleeping on the streets.

We, at The Key Alliance, believe that when Nashville comes together as a community, we can end chronic homelessness and reduce overall homelessness in our city. How is it done? Simply by housing one person at a time.

Please consider being a part of the solution to homelessness. Visit our Website at www.thekeyalliance.org and feel free to contact us for more information.

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