Community Development

Homelessness Assistance

MDHA has a long history of addressing homelessness in Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County and has served as the lead agency for accessing HUD Continuum of Care (CoC) funding since 1992. The agency facilitates Nashville’s CoC process and administers the HUD Emergency Solutions Grants Program (ESG), Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) and a Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Program. MDHA also manages more than 538 VASH program rental vouchers for Veterans experiencing homelessness.

Each year, agencies in Nashville submit project proposals to HUD for its competitive Continuum of Care funding for transitional and permanent supportive housing for homeless people. Copies of the individual applications may be requested via e-mail from Suzie Tolmie, MDHA’s homeless coordinator, at The CoC Consolidated Application provides a detailed look at how Nashville is addressing homelessness and covers:

Where to Turn in Nashville

“Where to Turn in Nashville” is a comprehensive, online directory for individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the Davidson County area.

MDHA’s Community Development Department administers ESG on behalf of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County and serves as the Collaborative Applicant for the Nashville-Davidson Continuum of Care (CoC).  It does not provide direct services.

Nashville – Davidson Continuum of Care

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act programs are administered by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These funds are awarded annually and require the development of a “Continuum of Care” (CoC) system in each community where assistance is being sought. CoCs address the critical problem of homelessness through a coordinated community-based process of identifying needs and building a system to meet those needs. The approach is predicated on the understanding that homelessness is not caused merely by a lack of shelter, but involves a variety of underlying, unmet needs – physical, economic, and social. Funds are granted based on an annual competition following a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) by HUD.

Annually, MDHA leads the local CoC through this extremely competitive CoC funding cycle. Local jurisdictions, housing authorities, and nonprofits (secular and faith-based) can apply for funding in support of transitional and permanent housing for “homeless” persons as defined by HUD.

MDHA’s Homeless Coordinator convenes a series of meetings with service providers, representatives from the faith community and government agencies to identify gaps in the service system and to develop proposals to address the needs. These efforts result in renewal awards of more than $7.6 million to support homeless programs in Nashville.

Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG)

Title IV of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (1987) authorized the Emergency Shelter Grant Program. The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 (HEARTH Act) amended the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, including major revisions to the Emergency Shelter Grants program, which was renamed the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program. The ESG program is designed to identify sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons, as well as those at risk of homelessness, and provide the services necessary to help those persons quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis and/or homelessness.

Funding is allocated to Nashville on an annual basis and awarded to nonprofit agencies on a competitive basis.