United to End Homelessness starts with strategy sessions

Homelessness is an issue we see throughout Middle Georgia, and United Way of Central Georgia wants to change that. It's why the organization created the 'United to End Homelessness' initiative.
Strategy Sessions

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Homelessness is an issue we see throughout Middle Georgia, and United Way of Central Georgia wants to change that. It’s why the organization created the ‘United to End Homelessness’ initiative.

Executive Director, Reverend Dr. Jake Hall, says we have to take collective responsibility for Macon’s homeless problem.

“We have to come together and address this from multiple perspectives and various strategies for really the different types of homelessness that we see. And we can no longer ignore that and call that being a good citizen because it’s not,” Dr. Hall said.

‘United to End Homelessness’ hosted two strategy sessions Thursday. Dr. Hall says there are some practices for dealing with homelessness, but each community is different.

“Our first steps are convening leaders, stakeholders, primary providers,” Dr. Hall said. “So that we can listen and learn, and adopt a posture of learning first before we formulate a plan that’s built just for our community.”

Macon-Bibb Mayor Lester Miller says the community can’t afford to continue letting people live on the streets.

“We don’t want to be the next California … L.A., we don’t want to be in a situation where people are everywhere outside. We want to increase our business here, we want to increase our education, our quality of life,” Mayor Miller said. “And to do so we have to treat people in a very compassionate way, but at the same time we have to make sure everybody is on the same page with how we move forward.”

Dr. Hall says ‘United to End Homelessness’ will continue to enlist leaders to be apart of their efforts.

“We need people from so many different areas of Macon in order to build just the right coalition to address this problem that has so many different manifestations and needs and care. It begins when we start working together and we have the will to do this,” Dr. Hall said.

Dr. Hall is hoping to decrease chronic homelessness in Macon over the next 12 to 18 months.

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