Update: Columbus Homelessness Task Force - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Update: Columbus Homelessness Task Force

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  In Columbus, more than 1,500 people are homeless on any given night.

Shana Young, the Assistant Director for the Cunningham Center Leadership Development explained, "those 1,500 are in our shelters, on our streets, moving from house to house, and couch to couch."

Right now, there is not a facility in Columbus that is open 24/7 for the homeless.

A Homelessness Task Force was created to draft a plan to stop homelessness in the Fountain City.  The 10 year plan was explained to Mayor and City Council candidates on MOnday afternoon.  A draft is also in the hands of already existing service centers throughout Columbus for review.

Part of the 10 year plan is to have a "One-stop-shop" where the homeless can receive all the services they need.  Young says after funding, it all begins with permanent supportive housing, "housing first. Rapidly re-housing the individuals that we serve so that they are not overstaying their welcome in emergency shelters."

Young said she believes homelessness can be eradicated "if we have a plan, a place to start."

The plan will be presented to City Council on Tuesday, October 12th.  Young stated that the task force wants the city to pay for the Executive Director that would oversee the plans.  They task force also recommended that the Task Force be established as a non-profit.

The public is invited to attend hearings set for Friday, October 15th at Noon at the Public Library on Macon Road or Tuesday, October 26th at 6:00 p.m.


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