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18 November 2022 · 4 min. read

EPB and the Homeless Coalition Ask for Help to End Homelessness

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Nov. 21, 2022) — EPB has partnered with the Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition, to launch Connect For Good an effort to raise awareness about ways to help people get back into permanent housing.

“People experiencing homelessness look like you and me, our children and our family members,” said Mike Smith, Executive Director, Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition. “It’s troubling to think of our loved ones facing the uncertainty of not having a home to call their own, but attainable solutions are in reach with just a little help.”

Through Connect For Good people are encouraged to donate to the Flexible Housing Fund, which is managed and dispersed by the Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition. The fund helps people experiencing homelessness overcome barriers to housing by providing support for back rent, utility payments, rent payments, application fees and other needs that help bridge the gap to housing. The fund supplements existing community resources and fills gaps in needs not covered by other agencies.

Connect For Good aligns with Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly’s “One Chattanooga” plan. The plan aims to close long-standing opportunity gaps across the city, including those related to housing security.

“The causes of homelessness are complex and multifaceted, and so our solutions must be as well,” said Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly. “The Flexible Housing Fund allows us to deploy life-saving resources to people in need, while we continue to work toward longer-term solutions like affordable housing and workforce development. Homelessness is not a challenge we can solve overnight, but if we come together as Chattanoogans in the spirit of love and giving, we can do a whole lot for our homeless community this holiday season.”

The Homeless Coalition strives to lead the community in making homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring, with the Flex Fund proven to be an effective, lasting measure to place people in housing.

  • More than 1,400 people experience homelessness in Chattanooga.
  • From 2021 to 2022, there was a 350% increase in children under the age of 18 experiencing homelessness in Hamilton County.
  • The number of people experiencing homelessness on a daily basis in southeast Tennessee has increased over 170% in the last year.
  • The Flex Fund has provided support to 309 people in 2022, including 94 children ages 6-18 and 34 children under the age of 5.
  • 97% of the people assisted by the Homeless Coalition stayed out of homelessness 1-2 years after finding housing.

“As part of our mission to serve the community, we see Connect For Good as an opportunity to help the Homeless Coalition get the word out about this important issue,” said EPB President & CEO David Wade.

Gifts to the Flex Fund are managed according to established protocols:

  • A case manager locates affordable housing for someone in need.
  • They submit a request to the Chattanooga Homeless Coalition.
  • The Coalition verifies and processes the request before disbursing funds.

Learn more or donate at epb.com/connect-for-good.

About the Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition

Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition (CRHC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has been serving 11 counties of Southeast Tennessee as the leader in maximizing resources for people living in conditions not meant for human habitation since 1995. CRHC exists to lead, coordinate, and strengthen efforts to prevent and end homelessness throughout Southeast Tennessee, striving to lead the community in making homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring. For more information, visit www.homelesscoalition.org.

About EPB

EPB serves the people of the Chattanooga area with advanced smart city infrastructure to enable world-class energy and connectivity solutions that include the most resilient smart grid power distribution system in the United States and the fastest internet in the world. EPB gained national notice when it deployed a community-wide fiber optic network accessible to all its customers and used it to launch America’s first Gig-speed internet in 2010 (beating Google Fiber by 4 years) as well as the first community-wide 10 Gig internet service available as a standard offer to all residences and businesses in 2015. Most recently, EPB launched America's first community-wide 25 Gig internet service, future-proofing the network's capacity and keeping Chattanooga on the cutting edge.

EPB also utilized the fiber optic network as the communications backbone for deploying more than 200,000 smart switches, sensors and other devices to establish the most advanced and highly automated smart grid in the nation. As a result, the U.S. Department of Energy named EPB a living laboratory for pioneering smart grid technologies. Since then, EPB has partnered with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and more than 20 other national research partners to play a critical role in more than $155 million in smart city research. EPB was also the first major power distribution utility to earn the GBCI’s PEER certification for having a highly automated, modernized electric power grid in 2015 and followed up in 2021 by re-certifying at PEER Gold.

EPB is an independent board of the City of Chattanooga which began serving customers in 1939. Visit epb.com for more information.

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