Tennessee Looking to Reduce Chronic Homelessness

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services; October 14, 2014:

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) is embarking on a three-year strategy to reduce homelessness among veterans and other chronically homeless people living with mental illness and/or struggling with substance abuse.

“This initiative is the first of its kind in Tennessee and brings together resources to help individuals who are chronically homeless,” said E. Douglas Varney, TDMHSAS Commissioner. “Many of our veterans and individuals who have been homeless for a long time are coping with addiction and mental illness. They are the people who will benefit from this coordination of state and county resources.”

Through a partnership with the TennCare Bureau, Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs, Tennessee Housing Development Agency, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Shelby County Government and with a $3.6 million grant award from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), it’s hoped this collaborative, multiple agency approach will help individuals get the treatment and support they need to live a better life.

Tennessee Cooperative Agreement to Benefit Homeless Individuals

Over a three-year period, the newly-formed partnership of state, county and city agencies, known as the Tennessee Cooperative Agreement to Benefit Homeless Individuals-State (TN-CABHI) will identify and assist an estimated 660 individuals in Shelby and Davidson Counties.

“We’ve called upon providers with experience to lead the local efforts,” said Varney. “Our homeless veterans and those who have been chronically homeless need and deserve our attention.”


Total Grant Award of $3.6 Million

100 people served annually in Shelby County

120 served annually in Davidson County (Nashville)

660 total individuals served over 3 years