About Us

Homeless FAQs

Learn what the City and its partners are doing to address homelessness in Knoxville.

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  Homeless Program Coordinator
Michael Dunthorn
[email protected]
(865) 215-3103
  Homeless Program Coordinator
Shawn Griffith
[email protected]
(865) 215-2866

Mike Dunthorn and Shawn GriffithThe City's Office on Homelessness convenes and coordinates service providers around our community’s shared goals and strategies to address homelessness.

A city office focused on homelessness was first established in 2006 under Mayor Bill Haslam, with an emphasis on developing Permanent Supportive Housing using the Housing First model to address chronic homelessness. The current Office on Homelessness was established by Mayor Madeline Rogero in 2014 with one staff member as part of the Community Development department (now the Housing and Neighborhood Development Department) to coordinate a broader community plan to address homelessness. 

In 2020, Mayor Indya Kincannon expanded the office to two staff members in response to community need for additional coordination and funding available from the federal government to hire staff to support community efforts to address homelessness. 

The City’s Office on Homelessness manages the application submission process for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s “Continuum of Care” funding to support certain homelessness-related housing, services and other related resources.


Helping the homelessHomelessness is a serious and complex issue for every community—not just Knoxville. There’s no single cause of homelessness and no single solution.

The majority of people experiencing homelessness in our community are living with friends or family members, in hotel rooms, in local shelters, or in transitional housing.

About 33 percent of people experiencing homelessness in Knoxville are living unsheltered, or on the street. 

KnoxHMIS reports the following main reasons for becoming homeless: 

• No Affordable Housing
• Mental/Health Reasons
• Eviction
• Domestic Violence
• Loss of Job
• Underemployment
• Non-Violent Family Confrontation
• Criminal Activity

Learn more in our Homeless FAQs


Addressing homelessness from all angles requires community-wide coordination and communication between partners, which can include governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, shelter operators, affordable-housing providers and developers, faith-based outreach programs, physical and mental health providers, church congregations and philanthropic groups. 

Who's At The Table
The Mayor hosts a quarterly Roundtable on Homelessness meeting at which agency leadership can share information, coordinate efforts and ensure accountability to one another and the Knoxville community.

Roundtable meetings are open to the public and listed on the City's events calendar.


The City provides funding for services and programs that prevent and reduce homelessness, including: 

• Projects that develop and maintain affordable housing, affordable rental housing and permanent supportive housing

• Outreach workers who connect with people experiencing homelessness to resources and programs that lead to housing

• Emergency housing that keeps people from becoming homeless

• Financial stability and workforce development

Coordinated Entry graph below

Coordinated Entry is a multi-agency intake and assessment process that helps connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness with the best available resources and housing in a community. The process ensures that those with greatest service needs and vulnerability are prioritized for the appropriate resources and housing. Our local Coordinated Entry System is called CHAMP (Coordinated Housing Assessment and Match Plan). The diagram below shows how CHAMP helps people connect with the resources and housing that best fits their needs.


Report files below

Reports and Plans2020 KnoxHMIS Annual Report

2019 KnoxHMIS Annual Report

2018 KnoxHMIS Annual Report

2022 KAAR State of Housing Report

Knoxville's Plan to Address Homelessness 2014 [PDF]

Knoxville's Plan to Address Homelessness 2019 [PDF]