Grants aid substance use disorder recovery housing

Grants to hire regional facilitators to leverage resources to create housing opportunities for people recovering from addiction to opioids and other substances

NASHVILLE —The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) is proud to announce five community-based behavioral health agencies that will be instrumental in the state’s efforts to increase housing opportunities for people recovering from substance use disorder.

The five agencies selected will receive new state funding to hire regional housing facilitators under the department’s new Creating Homes Initiative (CHI) 2 program. The facilitators are an essential part of the model working with community-based groups to inventory assets, identify needs, and create solutions.

CHI-2 looks to build off the department’s highly successful Creating Homes Initiative which has created more than 22,000 housing opportunities and leveraged more than $692 million in state, federal, local, grant, foundational, and other sources for people living with mental illness. The original CHI was started in 2000 under the leadership of now-Commissioner Marie Williams.

“We are so excited, grateful and humbled to bring this proven model of creating new housing options for vulnerable populations to the area of substance abuse recovery,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams, LCSW. “Safe and affordable housing is an essential component on a person’s journey to recovery, and this investment by Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly will change the trajectory of countless lives for decades to come.”

After a competitive grant submission and selection process, the following agencies were chosen to serve the following TDMHSAS planning regions:

  • Upper East Tennessee: Frontier Health
  • Knoxville / East Tennessee: Helen Ross McNabb Center
  • Cumberland Plateau / Southeast Tennessee: Helen Ross McNabb Center
  • Middle Tennessee (Outside Nashville/Davidson Co.) Coffee County Drug Court Foundation
  • West Tennessee: Aspell Recovery Center
  • Memphis/Shelby County: CAAP, Inc.

“We know that the addiction crisis in our state looks different depending on where you are. In spreading these housing facilitators across the state, we wanted to ensure that all Tennesseans who need recovery housing have access to an advocate who’s working on their behalf,” said Neru Gobin, TDMHSAS director of housing and homeless services.

In addition to the $3 million in state funding budgeted by Lee and appropriated by the General Assembly in the department’s FY20 budget, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency is matching the state’s investment with $3 million of their funding. THDA is accepting applications for this funding until Jan. 16.  More information at this link.

The remaining state funding to build and operate housing under CHI-2 and the regional housing facilitator for Region 4, Nashville/Davidson County will be chosen at a later date after additional announcements of funding.

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