BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) – On Tuesday, the Bristol, Virginia City Council listened to a presentation from the executive director of the Downtown Chattanooga Alliance about how they’re handling homelessness in their city.

Steve Brookes, the Executive Director for the Downtown Chattanooga Alliance, talked about what their team does to ensure the safety, cleanliness and welcoming of the environment in Chattanooga. Which includes addressing homelessness issues.

One of the many ways they help address homelessness is by having ambassadors interact with people without homes. Ambassadors get to know unhoused people. They help with getting them mental health treatments, addiction services, housing and much more.

Bristol, Virginia Mayor, Neal Osborne said that could be a possibility to implement downtown with proper training.

“They’re [Downtown Chattanooga Alliance] training them not only on how to handle a crisis situation that someone is having whatever that crisis may be,” Osborne said. “They’re also teaching about how to use Narcan and how to respond to a very emergent situation.”

Osborne said one of the strategies mentioned in the presentation is having all the organizations that want to help the homeless communicate and work together.

“So hopefully we’re able to bring everybody to one table or everybody together, and we’re not having a duplication of resources,” Osborne said. “And we can find where our holes are that we can patch.”

One idea presented during the public comment was having old school buildings be homeless shelters.

Brookes talked about rehousing people who are homeless and helping them get into mental health facilities and drug addiction centers as well.

Osborne said the city wants to provide health, safety and welfare for all people including the unhoused. He said they deserve dignity and respect.

“But also we have all these downtown businesses that need to be able to conduct business, and they need their employees and their customers to be able to come to their business and feel safe and secure and enjoy downtown,” Osborne said.

Osborne said the city will get together and see what ideas to work on. He said they will tailor the strategies from Chattanooga to see what works well in Bristol to address homelessness issues.