Recently, the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County hosted Project Homeless Connect (PHC), a
one-day, one-stop event to provide people experiencing homelessness with access to a broad range of services. Nashville HUD Field Office staffers Iris-Ann Nguyen and Shivona
Brownlow set up a display and hosted a HUD booth at the event, held at the Tennessee State Fair Grounds. Altogether there were 118 people that visited the HUD table, and most of those individuals were
seeking housing assistance. HUD staff provided lists of privately-owned Section 8 apartments in Davidson County and surrounding counties, as well as, answered questions concerning resources to support individuals and families trying to secure
Project Homeless Connect is Nashville's biggest service provider event that helps individuals and families who are homeless. In addition to our public housing partner MDHA, participating groups included the
Mental Health Cooperative (MHC), Metropolitan Social Services (MSS), Metro Health Cooperative (MHC) Boards, and many shelter and transitional
housing providers. There were 875 Homeless participants attending the event. In addition to 69 service agencies, approximately 600 volunteers helped make the event a success.
Immediately after Mayor Karl Dean kicked off the event, the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission
shone a spotlight on Rusty Lawrence by awarding him the Rev. Bill Barnes Champion Award. The award recognizes community leaders
who champion solutions to homelessness and advocate social equity in Nashville. Mr. Lawrence serves as the Executive Director of Urban Housing Solutions, a local nonprofit which he started in 1991.
Urban Housing Solutions is an affordable, permanent housing provider operating 30 properties that provide 912 apartments to low-income individuals and families, many of whom have been
struggling with homelessness. HUD has funded many of the developments that Mr. Lawrence has created over the years through Continuum of Care programs.