An MTSU social work professor and graduate student will present the results of a study aimed at devising a better way for Murfreesboro to help the homeless during a City Council workshop session Thursday, July 13.
The council will hear from Dr. Michael Sherr, chair of MTSU’s Department of Social Work, and Jackie Jones, a social work master’s degree candidate, at 4 p.m. in the group’s chambers at City Hall, 111 W. Vine St.
Members of the public interested in learning more about this study and local efforts to help at-risk families are encouraged to participate.
Sherr, Jones and two social work undergraduates have been working since January with the city of Murfreesboro and the Homeless Alliance of Rutherford County on a concept where social service agencies could establish satellite offices, creating a “one-stop” environment for many types of assistance.
The study specifically recommends that local agencies coordinate their resources and services into a centralized campus designed to more effectively and conveniently help individuals with getting into affordable, permanent housing.
“Finding available, affordable housing is getting more difficult,” said Sherr. “The city is getting bigger, and there are enough people, enough stakeholders from different parts of our community that need and want to work together to address housing concerns now.”
Sherr discussed the problem and the MTSU study in an appearance on the “MTSU On the Record” radio program this spring; you can listen to his conversation with host Gina Logue below.
Murfreesboro continues to experience growth, and its population, estimated at 131,947 in 2016 by the U.S. Census Bureau, is expected to reach 228,000 by 2035. It’s been the fastest-growing city in Tennessee for the last three years and is one of the 15 fastest-growing large cities in the United States.
The Murfreesboro 2035 comprehensive plan calls for providing a mix of housing options, including a comprehensive solution to meeting the needs of the city’s most vulnerable citizens.