Knoxville accepting proposals for homeless, housing assistance grants

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Agencies seeking to provide assistance for housing needs during the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for a share of the $2.2 million Knoxville received as part of the CARES Act.

The city released its application packet Friday for Emergency Solutions Grant, or ESG-CV, funds. The funds are for services to individuals and families who are currently experiencing homelessness, receiving homeless assistance, or having trouble paying housing-related expenses.  

Mayor Indya Kincannon and city staff, including Michael Dunthorn, homeless program coordinator for the city’s Office on Homelessness, and Becky Wade, director of the Housing and Neighborhoods Development Department, met with a variety of service providers to identify existing issues and those that have been worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.

A set of funding priorities will be used to evaluate the eligible projects:

  • Rental and utility assistance (including deposits) 
  • Street outreach  
  • Services to overcome language/cultural barriers 
  • Emergency shelter improvements (physical separation and space capacity) in preparation for colder weather 
  • Increased emergency shelter space capacity and essential services for vulnerable populations (including families, unaccompanied youth, and the elderly) 
  • Mobile medication-assisted treatment and medical and mental health services 
  • Equity study on the Knoxville Homeless Management Information System, a database required for any recipients of ESG-CV Round 2 funding 

Mayor Kincannon is encouraging organizations of different missions to partner and innovate to meet the needs of the homeless.

To receive funds, service providers must meet the Department of Housing and Urban Development regulations, posted at ESG-CV recipients will not be required to provide matching funds for grant amounts they receive.

Grant proposals should be for $50,000 minimum and address how the proposed project will minimize community transmission and/or mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

All applicants must attend one of two technical assistance workshops being held online at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, and Monday, Sept. 14. These sessions will provide specific information on application details, program requirements, and assistance available to applicants.

Applicants with questions about the grant application process or the technical assistance workshops should contact Hope Ealey at 865-215-2290 or email

Applications must be received by noon Friday, Oct. 2. There are several ways in which applications may be submitted, including by email. The application form and instructions are posted at


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