Monday, November 24, 2008

our (ten year) plan

In an email I received today, I saw a link to this site:, the city's decade long plan to end chronic homelessness in Knoxville. Kudos to the government for adopting a blog-like site, with updated posts and even a tag cloud in the side bar. This makes it easy to surf around and find the info you want. Aside from a good wed presence, how is this program doing? I was surprised to see that we are already in Year Two of the proposed ten years. That means eight years until the plan is supposed to have worked. Living downtown, it doesn't seem like much progress has been made. If anything, there seems to be more of the "chronic" homeless type around than there was two years ago. True, soon Volunteer Ministries will soon be moved from the gentrifying 100 block of Gay Street to their new facility in the "Homeless District", sandwiched between 4th and Gill and Mechanicsville. That's a change.

But is it progress?

I am still educating myself about the 10 year plan. Maybe it will ratchet up its efforts as the decade goes along. But based on the last two years I'm not optimistic. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call the 100 block gentrifying. We're one of the oldest residential blocks, and it's mostly a renter's block. Most of those who do own have been there for a long time (when residential downtown has little more than the 100 block, and the newer places still have lower price tags than most of the surrounding downtown areas. I will be very happy to see the Mission go to a non-residential street. That has nothing to do with the fact that I believe homelessness is a serious disease and that I am working with the 10-year plan to help diminish it.

The Pol said...

welcome back ck, we've missed you so.

I did a post on this earlier this year... I think and I'm very supportive of the idea. Problems of overlapping services and uncoordinated efforts undermine everybody who wants to make a difference.

The real question is not if it will get rid of the homeless, which it won't, but what to do in year 7 when things are working well? If we are able to place those people who need and want help, what do we do about the Michaels and Melindas (is hould do a post just on them)? The ones who use people to get what they want and act like they are improving only to then move along to the next town to do the same thing.

"when you ain't got nothin you got nothin to lose" as the man once said.

ooh this was a really long comment

Amelia said...

True. Channel 8 did a story a year or so ago with some of the homeless downtown and some of them don't want to be helped. They enjoy being free and being given a free shelter, even though it's not the life most of us are after. As much as I want to believe in these people, I just can't. You can't help someone who doesn't try to help him/herself. But for the ones who are making the effort for a job, etc. I think is pretty incredible. I hope the 10-year plan works but it's a really bad time right now to strive for improvement.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who works directly on this program and their intentions are true and good and I believe that all the avenues they are pursuing to make positive changes will have an effect. However, I don't really know if it is possible to completely end chronic homelessnes in Knoxville, like Amelia said, some of them just dont want to be helped...

B said...

There's been a lot of talk at Knox Heritage about the Minvilla project that Volunteer Ministries is involved in. It's worth a whole post, but for now (and for those who don't keep up with news)there's a lot of controversy about putting so much money (and i mean a LOT of money)into a project that houses the homeless and will not come back with much return. I want to see that building saved and don't imagine any wealthy Knoxvillian would want to move into a building whose neighbors are KARM and the Salvation Army....
blah, blah, blah...i'll just write a post about it later...

B said...

here's another pertinent link

there's a link to another "10 year" web page. you can email Becky Wade to tell her what you think.

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