Thursday launched the first meeting and gathering of all organizations involved in the formation of LaGrange’s homeless coalition.
Some of the attendees at the meeting included representatives from the Department of Labor, Pathways, Crossover Ministries, New Ventures, West Georgia Psychiatric, Circles of Troup, City of LaGrange, Community Counseling, Troup County Schools, Columbus Housing Troup Bell, Troup Cares, Fellowship Deliverance Ministry and St. Peter’s Catholic Church-St. Vincent De Paul Society.
The itinerary for the meeting included identifying the concerns of the involved organizations, identifying the available resources, identifying the gaps in the resources, and beginning to lay out a plan.
Common concerns of those involved in the organization affecting the homeless population included transportation, having family shelters so that families aren’t split apart, and finding long-term affordable shelter and housing.
In a discussion about finding houses for the poor, Mayor Jeff Lukken referenced the Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) and how affective their program is. He goes on to say the AHA requires anyone over the age of 19 to work at least 20 hours a week, and it is a good incentive to get these people back into stability.
“We need expectations for people wanting to use housing.” said Lukken. “If these people are expected to work or go to school in order to use our services, then it will give them a start to getting their lives on track.”
A few other ideas in way for the coalition is to start one main database of all available resources and to bring the Resident Opportunities and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) program to the city.
The next meeting is to be determined.