Contributor paper seller lands permanent home

Posted at 5:00 PM, Dec 09, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Advocates are hustling to get hundreds of people into permanent housing as federal funding from the pandemic dries up.

Lamont is now doing the dishes in his own apartment, but it wasn't always this way. Until two weeks ago, he’d been staying in a motel through the Rapid Rehousing Initiative. It aimed to slow the spread of COVID-19 among those experiencing homelessness by getting them off the streets. As CARES Act funding is depleted, nonprofits are working to find people like Lamont a permanent home.

"Get my own place, get out of the cold," Lamont said.

Lamont sells the Contributor paper downtown to pay the bills. "I've been doing good since I’ve been with the Contributor. I’ve been staying out of trouble thanks to my regular customers," Lamont said. "I have something to eat, I buy clothes, money, they give me socks."

The Contributor has sixteen people who've applied for Section 8 vouchers like Lemont. Nine of them have vouchers but are still looking for an apartment. "It helps a lot of people get off the streets," Lamont said.

To help, landlords are needed to join the Low Barrier Housing Collective.

They get a $1,000 signing bonus, $1,000 in additional property protection, and $2,000 in case of lost rent according to Contributor Executive Director Cathy Jennings.

"One of the Contributor people brought the table, and a flat screen TV, and a bed," Lamont said.

Nonprofit workers with the Contributor housed five people in the last two weeks.