Knoxville, TN – Compassion Knoxville today released a report of findings and recommendations to address homelessness in Knoxville. In response, Mark Padgett, 2011 candidate for Knoxville City Mayor, issued the following statement:
“I applaud Compassion Knoxville’s exhaustive process and community-driven approach.
“One of the best ways to help the homeless reintegrate back into society is to focus on unemployment, drug and alcohol addiction, and mental illness. So I particularly support the recommendation that folks cannot receive services until they sign up for case management.
“I also applaud their focus on the need for increased job training, prevention methods, and affordable housing. We need to grow Knoxville’s economy because nearly 45,000 Knoxvillians live at or below the poverty line, and many are just a missed paycheck away from becoming homeless. Everyone deserves the chance to access affordable housing in a safe neighborhood.
“I continue to oppose city funding to build large-scale, permanent supportive housing scattered throughout our community because we need to redirect that funding to address the root causes of homeless: unemployment, drug and alcohol addiction, and mental illness.
“Now the question becomes: how are we going to pay for these recommendations? The report did not include cost estimates or a proposed budget. I believe we need a mix of public and private financing solutions that Knoxville can afford. I look forward to the next phase of discussion and debate.”
To view the full report and executive summary, please visit: http://www.compassionknoxville.com/.
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