Local News--The Nashville City Paper reports on disturbing, growing trend here: more and more homeless families are being denied shelter for lack of space.
On a chilly night last month, Safe Haven Family Shelter, a local nonprofit serving homeless families, was forced to turn away more than 700 families looking for a place to spend the night.So, how close are we taccommodatingng this need? The Safe Haven shelter, one of only 2 substantial family shelters in the entire state, has "9 rooms and 6 transitional homes" for families. For more than 700 nightly requests.
[Safe HavenÂs Executive Director Bruce] Newport said 700 requests per night from families looking for shelter arenÂt unusual.
Why are there no more shelter space for families? Because the federal government, which subsidizes a fair percentage of local efforts to shelter the homeless, is focusing its funding attention on "chronic homelessness." That's a fabulous idea, but it's defined as "an unaccompanied disabled individual who has been continuously homeless for over a year." Families don't fit the definition. Unless they split up.