Mayor announces plan for expenditure of mid-year funds to address homelessness

January 2, 2019

Mayor Greg Fischer gathered today with Metro Council members, other city leaders and community outreach representatives to release Louisville Metro Government’s plan for using mid-year surplus funds to further address the needs of homeless individuals in our community.

The plan was formally presented to Council by the city’s Office of Resilience and Community Services in collaboration with the Coalition for the Homeless.

It includes funding for a storage facility where homeless people can store their belongings when going into shelter, and four options for low-barrier shelter via Volunteers of America, Wayside Christian Mission, The Healing Place and St. Stephen Baptist Church.

The plan also includes funding for additional beds, cots and mats, housing for homeless families, as well as meals and outreach workers to connect individuals to resources throughout the community. It also provides options to house and care for homeless persons’ pets.

Funding for the work stems from Metro Council’s transfer in December of $546,791 from the city’s year-end budget adjustment; the funding covers initiatives through June 30, 2019.

The plan builds on the work of the Homeless Encampment Task Force that Mayor Fischer created in December 2017 to better understand and review the needs of our homeless population. The Mayor stressed today that the funding is only one piece of the work being done to address homelessness for the long-term.

“One of the things we’ve learned from our work so far is that to really meet our homeless citizens’ needs, we have to understand each of them as individuals, where they’ve come from, what they’ve been through and what they’re facing. It’s not all the same for every person. This plan will help elevate our work, but there are still many challenges ahead,” the Mayor said, adding, “We’re going to keep working this until every Louisvillian has a place to call home.”

Councilman Bill Hollander, who initially proposed using the surplus funding to help the homeless, said: “I appreciate the hard and rapid work of the Office of Resilience and Community Services, the Coalition for the Homeless and all of the community partners in developing this plan. Homelessness has many causes and no one solution. The work we are starting now recognizes those facts, will help get some Louisvillians experiencing homelessness off of our streets, and will serve as a bridge to a more permanent plan to address their needs.”

Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith agreed: “Funding for low-barrier shelters and services for those experiencing homelessness will be a budget priority for 2020 as we on Metro Council work through this coming budget cycle."