Sheleah Harris
Former School Board Member | Shelby County, TN

Local Communities of Care

Idea Category: Safety Net


With the economic impact of COVID-19, thousands of families in our communities have suffered a significant loss in employment, which has resulted in an increase in families experiencing homelessness. Most large, urban cities previously suffered from a lack of affordable housing and/or shelters that accommodate whole families, which means this influx has completely exacerbated our local housing organizations. This pandemic has now equalized every social and economic class of citizens. We have seen both middle and lower-middle-class families now homeless with little to no support in returning to a space of self-sufficiency.


Allocating funding to specifically address the sudden influx of families with housing insecurities to create Communities of Care. Local governments can equip organizations with the resources needed to expand available housing options, support education and workforce development, and provide medical/dental/mental health support, financial stewardship, and transportation. The goal is to remove existing or potential barriers for families needing provisional support to "get back on their feet" post-pandemic.