Rutherford County awarded $2M to address homelessness for families

Nov 23, 2020 at 12:00 pm by United Way

Rutherford County has been awarded a $2 million grant from the Tennessee Department of Human Services, in partnership with the United Way of Greater Nashville, to extend the Family Collective program to Rutherford County.

In 2014, the United Way of Greater Nashville launched the Family Collective—originally the Family Empowerment Program—to address homelessness, connect families to sustainable opportunities and disrupt cycles of poverty with seed funding from the Siemer Institute. As of October 1, 2020, the Family Collective cohort has grown to include more than 25 partner organizations including the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties. A total of $30 million total was awarded from the Tennessee Department of Human Services to expand the program from Davidson County to Cheatham, Robertson, Rutherford and Williamson counties with additional wrap-around services and engagement opportunities, as part of a four-year term.

Kristen Swann has been named the Family Collective coordinator for Rutherford County. Swann previously served as the director of marketing and the director of strategic initiatives and programs for the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties. Swann will oversee the coordination of services among a network of local agencies and programs assisting families experiencing a housing crisis.

“The United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties identified the need for a more coordinated approach to services for our most vulnerable families. The expansion of the Family Collective program provides an opportunity for Rutherford County to deliver comprehensive and coordinated services that will change lives and achieve results greater than any single organization could accomplish alone,” said Meagan Flippin, president and CEO of the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties.

Families experiencing a housing crisis enter programs within the Family Collective network and select the service mix that best meets their needs. To enable care coordination across partner agencies, data is shared in a centralized database. The Family Collective gives power back to families by providing space for families to get the help they need while providers work alongside each other to build trust, infrastructure and have courageous conversations with all stakeholders in each community.

The primary objectives of the program are to create permanent supportive housing for families with high barriers, seek to keep families housed, connect families to quality child-care, higher education and career pathways, and build social capital so that families can have a safe space to set goals and start working on deeper rooted issues.

The United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties will host a webinar for community members to learn more about the Family Collective program on Tuesday, December 15 at noon.

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