LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Metro Government announced that Dr. Susan Buchino will be the city’s new Homeless Services Director.
Buchino will coordinate the city’s homeless initiatives to help ensure a seamless approach and response, under the direction of Tameka Laird, Director of the Louisville Metro Office of Resilience and Community Services (RCS).
Her duties include strategizing and advocating for resources and services to combat homelessness; and providing planning, evaluation, and other expertise in the areas of the city’s Homelessness Taskforce, the Homeless Initiative Recipient Model, homeless encampments, and best practices. She will begin her new duties immediately.
“I’m so excited to have Dr. Buchino join our RCS team,” said Director Laird. “Susan has vast experience dealing with a range of issues involving homelessness throughout Louisville. Through her positions with UofL and its Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky (CIK), her research and evaluation have been a guiding force in our city’s strategies to combat homelessness. I look forward to working with her in this new leadership role to make an even bigger impact.”
Homelessness and affordable housing are among the top priorities for spending the city’s $388 million allotments of federal American Rescue Plan funding. In addition, reducing the number of persons living in Louisville without shelter is an ongoing goal in Louisville Metro’s Strategic Plan. Initiatives include:
- In December 2017, the Homeless Encampment Task Force (since renamed the Homelessness Task Force) was created to identify gaps and barriers in the city’s homeless system which led to the Metro-funded unsheltered homeless initiatives.
- In 2018, Metro Council members enacted an ordinance requiring a 21-day notice for camp removal.
- In 2019, a University of Louisville report identified solutions for reducing street homelessness.
- In July 2021, city leaders announced a multi-pronged approach to transition residents who are unsheltered from the streets to sustainable housing.
- In August 2021, Louisville Metro Government announced an agreement to purchase property at 212 E. College St. to provide unsheltered residents a safe, outdoor space to live temporarily, secure their belongings, and access supportive wrap-around services.
- In early 2021, RCS established the Homeless Services Division (HSD) to coordinate the city’s homelessness efforts including communications, outreach, partner engagement, strategic planning and Having a central point within the city’s organization has been instrumental in helping to address the needs of those experiencing homelessness, especially in regards to chronic, unsheltered homelessness.
Buchino earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Notre Dame, a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Spalding University, and a PhD in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at the UofL School of Public Health and Information Sciences.
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