'Host Homes' program offers temporary housing to young adults

downtown nashville
Posted at 11:27 AM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 12:27:45-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A program through the Oasis Center in Nashville is taking a community-based approach to help young adults transition to their own independent housing.

"The program is a model of utilizing people within our community who may have some extra private space in their home who are willing to use that space, designate that space, in their home to a young person as their working on transitioning to their own independent housing," said Courtney Berner, supportive housing manager for the Oasis Center.

The people using the program would stay with a host for one to six months. The program specifically targets young adults aged 18-24.

"Them experiencing homelessness now, they still don't have a lot of choice around usually why they have become homeless. So for them to be able to interview host or go to see places where they might live and then to choose to stay at this place versus that place is really empowering," said Michelle Hall, senior director of crisis to housing services.

While in the volunteer's home they will work with a case manager tackling a variety of things in addition to housing like life skills, employment, education and budgeting.

"They're really supported by the hosts through that process. Getting to live with them. Eat meals together. Get to know each other," Berner said.

She said building a relationship is really the goal of the host home and supporting the young adult through the process.

In order to be a host, a volunteer has to be 25 or older with a well-kept private space to offer the young adults. There will be a background check, fingerprinting, an interview process and training.

"Right now in Nashville we are getting more and more options to be able to support people who are experiencing a housing crisis, so this is another really nuanced option for people to be able to choose," Hall said.