HomeFirst Gwinnett Addressing Homelessness in Gwinnett County

Recognized as a major issue in many cities, homelessness is defined as anyone living on the streets, moving between temporary shelters including the homes of friends, family and emergency accommodations or living in private boarding houses without a private bathroom. The HomeFirst Gwinnett initiative Director Matt Elder joins this week’s All About Real Estate segment of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio to discuss the program and its efforts in the county.

Formed as a collaborative partnership between the United Way of Greater Atlanta, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners and The Primerica Foundation, HomeFirst Gwinnett strives to develop a strategic, coordinated approach to addressing homelessness in Gwinnett County by better connecting services for those in most need.

Recent reports have shown that Gwinnett County has one of the largest homeless populations in the state. Because of this, and the fact that the county did not have any operating homeless facilities, local leaders determined in 2018, that homelessness in Gwinnett County specifically required immediate attention.

Sparking from the support if its initial founding partners, the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners and The Primerica Foundation, more than 40 additional community partners now support the HomeFirst Gwinnett initiative to create more effective, efficient systems for helping those in need of assistance with housing.

The HomeFirst Gwinnett Initiative seeks to accomplish the following action items:

  • Drafting of Homeless and Affordable Housing Strategic Plan
  • Implementation of the Gwinnett County Coordinated Entry System
  • Establish Homeless Assessment Centers
  • Identification and Development of Affordable Housing Options
  • Administer Gwinnett County’s Homeless Point-in-Time Count

Following the initial step of drafting a strategic plan, the initiative plans to implement a coordinated entry system in 2020, providing a one-stop-shop to connect people in need of housing with the providers and resources that are currently available in real-time. The current resources simply provide contact information of places that could potentially have a room available, while the new system will be able to provide immediate solutions to those in need.

With the successful establishment of Homeless Assessment Centers and the results of Gwinnett County’s Homeless Point-in-Time Count to be released within the next month, it is evident HomeFirst Gwinnett is effectively accomplishing its action items.

To learn more, listen to the full interview above.

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