There’s no place like home – and for Deborah, that made it all the more worth persevering for. She and her son, Jonathan, fell upon hard times soon after the passing of her husband. After losing their home, they spent several years living in her truck, which broke down in 2020, leaving the pair stranded during the sweltering summer months amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deborah and her son sought what refuge they could in a Nashville park off of Charlotte Avenue, often sleeping on a park bench.

“I’d never been homeless like that in my life,” Deborah said. “You never know what you’re going to come across or experience.”

All of that changed when Deborah learned of a local push to house those experiencing homelessness. In fall 2020, MDHA, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office and Metro’s Homeless Impact Division, awarded $7.8 million in ESG-CV funding to 13 local nonprofits for rapid re-housing.

Through connections made with local nonprofits that delivered donations to individuals experiencing homelessness at the park, Deborah learned of the rapid re-housing opportunity. She applied as the cold winter months were beginning, and before Christmas, they were placed in a duplex in East Nashville.

“I like it all. I didn’t know it would be nice like this, but we are really blessed.” Deborah said. “We followed through, and we’re safe now. We have a roof over our heads. I’m thankful every day for what we have.”

Deborah and Jonathan were two of more than 120 people who obtained housing in 2020, thanks to ESG-CV funding. The goal is to provide rapid re-housing to more than 400 individuals and families experiencing homelessness. As of  May  24, 2021, 355 individuals had obtained housing.

The ESG-CV funding was provided by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

MDHA received additional CARES Act funding to support Nashvillians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding was awarded to local agencies following a competitive request for application process.

Landlord Risk Mitigation Fund

On May 13, 2021, Mayor John Cooper announced the creation of the Landlord Risk Mitigation Fund. This program will be used for the Emergency Solutions Grant Coronavirus (ESG-CV) rapid re-housing program as well as other voucher programs with a focus on increasing landlord participation in permanent housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. The tools available for landlords include mitigation of up to $1,000 in damages above the security deposit, and a risk guarantee of up to two months rent if the tenant leaves before the lease. To learn more about the Landlord Risk Mitigation Fund, click below or call 615-800-0195.