Chattanooga to Spend More Money on Homeless, Despite Past Results


Chattanooga Democratic Mayor Andy Berke reportedly wants to spend more taxpayer money on the homeless, even though past initiatives haven’t accomplished much in terms of results.

This, according to the Chattanooga-based, which detailed Berke’s plans.

“Chattanooga’s Homeless reduction initiative over the years has shown only marginal results. With the 2020 fiscal budget, Mayor Andy Berke and city leaders have raised the bar on funding and organizing programs,” according to the station.

“Mayor Berke’s budget includes 1.3 million dollars to get Chattanooga’s homeless into a permanent shelter. The city plans to spend 600-thousand dollars next year through Family Promise, Room at the Inn, Goodwill Furniture Bank and the Homeless Coalition.”

WDEF went on to report that it is difficult to estimate how many people need help, but the number is possibly as high as 4,000 people.

As The Tennessee Star reported last year, Nashville officials launched an initiative six years ago to end homelessness as we know it. The program, part of the “How’s Nashville” campaign, promised homelessness would end before 2017.

Back in 2013, the city’s Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency paired up with the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission and announced 200 housing opportunities for the chronically homeless.

They offered an unspecified amount of federal taxpayer money, via Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant money.

Apparently, though, city officials didn’t get enough cash the first go-round.

In 2018, according to Nashville NBC affiliate WSMV, city officials announced yet another initiative to end homelessness, this time among young people, using $3.54 million of federal taxpayer money, again from HUD.

There were other times officials in Tennessee used taxpayer money to end homelessness as we know it.

In 2014, then HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced a $1.6 billion initiative to fight the problem. Exactly $18.1 million of that went to Tennessee. U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, (D-TN-09), announced that 13 nonprofits in his hometown would get $4.3 million of that.

In 2015, homelessness in Tennessee not yet cured, Cohen bragged about getting even more federal taxpayer money to eradicate homelessness, this time $6.9 million through what was called a Continuum of Care program.

The program gave taxpayer money to nonprofits that serve the homeless.

One of the five nonprofit recipients was the Beers Van Gogh Center of Excellence in Memphis.

Homeless people who lived there organized a protest against the center because one of its employees allegedly engaged in acts of violence and widespread sexual harassment against residents, according to the Memphis Flyer.

According to The Flyer, center officials did nothing about the man until homeless residents protested.

This, the paper went on, was part of a larger problem with homeless service networks called “Play To Stay,” implying homeless residents must endure such treatment in exchange for assistance.

– – –

Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]





Related posts

2 Thoughts to “Chattanooga to Spend More Money on Homeless, Despite Past Results”

  1. LB

    Throwing money at the problem of homelessness has never been a solution and it never will be a solution. Look at San Francisco which is a total liberal failure.

    The solution is the Church! Look at history, look at how the church has been the most effective in feeding and caring for people in disaster. Not the Red Cross, not United way, but the Church!

    Unfortunately most pastors are too busy and distracted from what is most important. It’s all they can do to keep their family and every day issues in check. And of course small churches do not have the resources. However, they do have the most important resource and that is the hands and feet of their people. And they have Jesus!

    We have to hope the day is coming soon when Christian Conservative leaders and lay people will come together and meet with city leaders and Law Enforcement. And with unity they will come up with the solutions needed for the homeless people. And I believe from past experience the solutions will not take millions of dollars that the liberals democrats have already wasted. But corporations will willingly donate supplies that they can write off, which then will help their community and even benefit their workforce.

    Solutions that work are rarely complicated if given the authority and staff to do what needs to be done:

    Dealing with the drugs in the tent community, dealing with insanity, dealing with and not allowing the homeless do what they want to do, law enforcement must be allowed to do their job. Dealing with those who are playing the system for food stamps and getting years of unemployment. Not allowing tents…No tents. Spending money for the building of facilities on church properties for people to be housed, and financed by the city and monitored closely so no corruption can take over. Or another option is working with the city for land to build facilities to help those in need with an organized network of communication between these facilities with checks and balances so the people do not take advantage of the system. The Government cannot do this…the church with God fearing people can do it.

    Conservative people have to run for office of Mayor and County Mayor so that the support will be there for the church to help their cities. Democrats unfortunately in this day of age rarely come up with creative solutions and usually will block and hinder the greater good and especially the Church. And yes, I still have the freedom to give my opinion and solutions! :0

  2. Rick

    Was this mayor schooled by the brain trust of Berry and Briley. Another loser.