Louisville nonprofit presents recommendations to end city’s homelessness

The Coalition for the Homeless expressed how getting people off the streets should be a priority for everyone in the city.
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 6:04 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 1, 2023 at 10:31 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Homelessness continues to be a growing problem in Louisville.

According to the Coalition for the Homeless, 41% more unhoused people sought services last year than three years prior.

The organization hosted an event Tuesday to detail four recommendations to end homelessness.

Each night, there are 375 more unhoused Louisville residents than there are open shelter beds.

“Many people who have never had a first hand experience would say they are all alcoholics, poor, mentally ill, addicts; however the truth is complicated,” Brittany Boxley, Coalition for the Homeless Shelter Access Coordinator said. “Everyday, I have to have that hard conversation with single parents of, ‘I do apologize, but all the family shelters in Jefferson County are full.’”

Catherine McGeeney, Coalition for the Homeless’ Director of Communications expressed how getting people off the streets should be a priority for everyone in the city not just people who are unhoused.

“If we want to end homelessness, we can’t do it if everyone’s neighborhoods don’t have new, affordable housing,” McGeeney said. “I would ask that you think about these people who are forced to sleep outdoors, who are forcibly removed from their homes and use that to speak in favor of housing.”

The Coalition’s program to address homelessness, titled A New Path Home, uses the organization’s 2022 research on the rise in homelessness in Louisville. The coalition details the four priorities for funding these needs as follows:

  • Right to Shelter: The Coalition said they recommends a right to shelter ordinance to fund the creation of 375 new non-congregate shelter options.
  • Affordable Housing: Louisville is short 31,000 units of affordable housing for our poorest households. The Coalition recommends a new revenue stream to fund 3,750 units of housing every year for eight years to close this gap.
  • Medical Respite: The organization recommends funding 45 medical respite beds (30 new, 15 existing) through Norton/UofL and Family Health Centers so Unhoused patients have time to recover before they are discharged from the hospital.
  • Eviction Prevention: The Coalition recommends new funds to keep thousands of Louisville residents in their homes. The organization said Louisville’s pre-COVID eviction rate was twice the national average but with relief funding, we cut that number in half.

”Housing is the solution to homelessness and those homes need to be everywhere across our community,” McGeeney said.

The organization encourages anyone interested in their efforts to have conversations with their Metro councilperson.

Leaders say they plan on releasing recommended funding streams next month.

To get involved or learn more, click or tap here.