Volunteers needed this week to help identify needs of Atlanta’s homeless population

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.

Staff Report

In partnership with the United Way of Greater Atlanta, Hands On Atlanta and the Central Atlanta Progress, the Atlanta Homeless Registry initiative is calling on volunteers this week 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 Kasim Reed in a news release. “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, 6 p.m. - 12 a.m.: Conduct surveys in emergency night shelters.
• Friday, Jan. 18, 12 a.m. - 6 a.m.: 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,” Milton J. Little, Jr., president of United Way of Greater Atlanta, said in the release. “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.

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.

About Unsheltered No More

As part of the Unsheltered No More initiative, Mayor Reed and community partners have set a goal of connecting 800 people to permanent housing by December 2013. The Registry will be the primary vehicle for driving community efforts to house 200 chronically homeless people, 400 homeless veterans, and 200 episodically homeless individuals and families. More information is available on the newly launched website: www.unshelterednomore.com.

About Atlanta’s Street Homeless Registry

The Registry is sponsored by the Office of Mayor Reed, United Way of Greater Atlanta, Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, and Hands On Atlanta. These efforts are coordinated with the national 100,000 Homes campaign.

These efforts are supported by the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team, which is funded by a $3.3 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Situated in the Mayor’s Office, the Team brings rigorous focus and best-in-class practice to identifying powerful solutions, developing implementation plans, and then managing for results. Atlanta is one of five cities to receive an Innovation Delivery Team grant. Part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Project, Innovation Delivery Team grants were also awarded to Chicago, Louisville, Memphis, and New Orleans.

- The City of Atlanta contributed to this story

Mubabawa Blaque January 13, 2013 at 04:45 PM
just get them to move away somewhere else, we don't need or want them here and they offer nothing by being here other than a drain on productive valuable people
Clicker January 13, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Their needs? 1. Homes 100% 2. Drugs 90%
Hunt Archbold January 14, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Has anyone formed or Is anyone forming a Midtown team? Patch user John Woffinger commented early today on Virginia Highland-Druid Hills Patch: “The registration for the early shift from 6 p.m. til midnite is already filled - but more volunteers for the midnite til 6 a.m. shift are needed. If you decide to sign up for this shift - list your group as the VaHi Safety Team and we can all go as a group from this part of the city. I'll be glad to drive to the meeting place at North Avenue Presbyterian - so let me know at jjonww2@earthlink.net if you have signed up and we'll travel there as a group. We already have two on our neighborhood team.”


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