- Post 11 January 2013
- By Special to the Daily World
- Hits: 793
In partnership with the United Way of Greater Atlanta, Hands-On Atlanta and The Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, Mayor Kasim Reed announced today the launch of the Atlanta Homeless Registry initiative and specifically called on volunteers to ensure its success.
"It concerns me deeply that every night thousands of homeless individuals are sleeping on Atlanta's streets with nowhere to go and no hope for the future," said Mayor Reed. "My administration is committed to identifying the specific needs of our homeless population and matching them with available resources. The Street Homeless Registry is the first step to make that a reality, but we need hundreds of volunteers for this effort to be successful. I urge residents to consider volunteering for this vital initiative."
The goals of the Atlanta Street Homeless Registry extend beyond those of a traditional survey or census. Data gathered through the survey will not only be used to better understand the needs of Atlanta's homeless, but it will also provide an essential tool for community action, and mobilize and coordinate resources to serve some of the most vulnerable in the city. This is the first initiative of its kind ever launched in the City of Atlanta.
Volunteers for the Registry are needed for two shifts:
• Thursday, Jan. 17, 6pm-12am: Conduct surveys in emergency night shelters
• Friday, Jan. 18, 12am-6am: Conduct surveys in outdoor locations
Both volunteer shifts will begin with a training and briefing session to prepare volunteers. The Atlanta Police Department's HOPE (Homeless Outreach Prevention Emergency) team will be on hand across Atlanta to provide support as needed, and all volunteers will be deployed on teams led by professional outreach workers.
For more information and to sign up for a volunteer shift, visit: http://www.unshelterednomore.com/registry/
"Tackling homelessness in Atlanta takes a community effort, and United Way is proud to partner with Mayor Reed and others for this important initiative," said Milton J. Little, Jr., president of United Way of Greater Atlanta. "Identifying the most vulnerable in the homeless population is a key step in getting them the help they need, not only in terms of housing but also in case management, health care, treatment and other supports."
On the evening of Thursday, Jan. 17 and morning of Friday, Jan. 18, hundreds of volunteers supported by professional outreach workers will conduct surveys with people sleeping in outdoor locations and emergency shelters in Atlanta. Data from the surveys will be used to create the first ever by-name registry of homeless people in Atlanta, with information about who they are, health challenges that put them at risk, and barriers to securing and maintaining permanent housing.
"The Atlanta Downtown Improvement District is committed to supporting Mayor Reed and the United Way in their efforts to identify and implement long term solutions that will significantly impact chronic homelessness in our community, said A.J. Robinson, President, Atlanta Downtown Improvement District. "We will continue to provide resources that help to counter the negative effects on the quality of life of all concerned, and are determined to do our part to ensure the success of the Unsheltered No More initiative."
As of the last point-in-time homeless count, there were nearly 5,000 people sleeping in emergency night shelters and outdoor locations in Atlanta.
The Registry survey includes a Vulnerability Index (VI) designed to measure health vulnerability. This data – along with other factors, such as age and length of time homeless – will be used to prioritize permanent supportive housing resources for chronically homeless individuals and families with the highest risk of dying on the streets.