Homelessness has increased steadily throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular increase in the number of people who are unsheltered. Early in 2022, the City of Asheville, Buncombe County, and Dogwood Health Trust formed a collaborative to respond to the increased need, and Dogwood Health Trust offered to fund a consultancy to bring national expertise to the local community to better understand and address the crisis of unsheltered homelessness. The City is serving as the contracting point of contact for this collaborative, and published a Request for Proposals in February 2022 on behalf of the group. Eleven proposals were received and reviewed by a selection committee composed of staff from the three organizations.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness was unanimously selected by the committee for their proposed approach and deep expertise. On May 10, 2022, City Council voted to accept $72,974 from Dogwood Health Trust for a contract with the National Alliance to End Homelessness. The City will continue to serve as the primary point of contact throughout this project, and will work closely with Buncombe County and Dogwood Health Trust throughout the process.
The project will have two phases:
Phase One – a comprehensive needs assessment to understand the increase in unsheltered homelessness.
Phase Two – using the findings of Phase One to develop a set of actionable strategies and recommendations to improve our community’s response to unsheltered homelessness.
How to Participate
Your input is valuable! Please participate as you are able to ensure the National Alliance to End Homelessness has the best possible information to guide their assessment of our community’s needs and opportunities.
Information is being gathered via:
- Site visits and stakeholder interviews with homeless service providers
- Stakeholder interviews and focus groups with neighborhood associations in coordination with the Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods
- Stakeholder interviews and focus groups with businesses in coordination with the Asheville Chamber of Commerce
- Focus groups with faith communities and healthcare providers
- Surveys of community leaders
- Surveys and focus groups with people with current or recent experience of homelessness
All other community members are invited to contribute their perspective through this survey. The survey will be open through August 19, 2022.
If you have questions about how to provide input, please contact Emily Ball at firstname.lastname@example.org.