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City spends $2.5 million housing homeless at The Fairgrounds Nashville

November 17, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

News4 Investigates discovered that taxpayers have spent more than $2.5 million so far housing the homeless at The Fairground Nashville’s new expo buildings.

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - News4 Investigates discovered that taxpayers have spent more than $2. 5 million so far housing the homeless at The Fairground Nashville’s new expo buildings. The expo buildings were turned into a homeless shelter in March, the city saying at the time they wanted to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the homeless community. News4 Investigates found that since March, taxpayers have paid more than $2. 5 million, including:$34,000 for fencing$214,000 payments to a private security firm$774,110 payment to catering company with Fairgrounds contract to provide three meals a day$1. 1 million to private companies for contracted medical staff“I wish I could give you an answer.

She predicted there won’t be any indoor events until June 1, 2021, and that’s if the homeless shelter closes March 31 as scheduled. Womack wrote it will take six to eight weeks to repair any damage and clean and sanitize the buildings, plus finish a punch-list of items the contractor never got a chance to finish. Shane Smiley with the Flea Market Vendors Association said that hundreds of families who operated flea market booths are suffering. “There are well over 1,200 people who are not able to work right now,” Smiley said. He said the flea market could operate as an open-air market to alleviate concerns about COVID since the expo buildings were constructed with roll-up doors. Are there other options for housing the homeless?

This shelter solution has alleviated and prevented overcrowding at the Nashville Rescue Mission, allowing for safe social distancing. “Your hypothetical cost calculation for a hotel-based solution is not remotely representative of what one would cost. “As your email mentioned, the safe housing of homeless individuals during a pandemic must account for the following needs:Medical staffingMedical suppliesFoodCOVID-19 testingSecurity staffingTransportation“Your nightly room rate estimate does not include any of those needs and is essentially equivalent to the free space provided by the shelters. “If a hotel-based solution would have saved money and provided safe shelter of equal benefit, we would have done it. ”The Mayor's office said there are currently 137 people at the shelter at The Fairgrounds Nashville.

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