*** Update 9/13/23: An additional public forum has been scheduled for Wednesday, September 20 at 11:00 AM at the Athens-Clarke County Library (2025 Baxter Street).
The Athens-Clarke County Unified Government (ACCGov), in collaboration with consulting firm the Cloudburst Group, is seeking public comment on the final draft of the Strategic Plan to Reduce and Prevent Homelessness through Wednesday, September 27, 2023.
The final draft of the plan, a virtual presentation, and an online survey are available at www.accgov.com/arpa.
Residents will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the homelessness strategic plan through the following in-person community drop-in forums:
- Tuesday, September 5 from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM at the Heard Park Multipurpose Room (400 McKinley Drive)
- Wednesday, September 13 from 3:00 - 5:00 PM at the Snipes Water Resource Center (780 Barber Street)
- Wednesday, September 20 from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM at the ACC Library (2025 Baxter Street) (added on 9/13/23)
- Wednesday, September 20 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM at the ACC Library (2025 Baxter Street)
The online survey will be available through September 27.
"Residents’ comments are extremely important to this process," says Alejandra Calva, ACCGov Housing and Community Development Community Impact Administrator. "Support from the community and its stakeholders is vital to the success of this strategic plan to not only help reduce and prevent homelessness in Athens-Clarke County, but also to strengthen the supportive systems for unhoused residents."
After this public comment period, the homelessness strategic plan is scheduled for discussion by the Mayor & Commission at their September 19 Agenda Setting Session, with a vote tentatively expected at their October 3 Regular Session. Additional public comment opportunities will be available prior to and during those meetings as for all agenda items under consideration by the Mayor and Commission.
The draft Strategic Plan to Reduce and Prevent Homelessness was developed with input from community forums, focus groups, businesses, service providers, and those currently, previously, or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
On May 1, 2022, the Mayor & Commission authorized the allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for specific uses and designated program areas including Youth Development and Violence Prevention, Affordable Housing, Homelessness, Business Development and Workforce Support, and Behavioral Health.
The initial advisory group for Homelessness is the Athens Homeless Coalition. The group is charged with creating a community‐wide five-year strategic plan to address homelessness, to reduce and prevent homelessness in Athens Clarke County, and to strengthen the mental health and social service support systems for unhoused residents.
A separate process related to housing resources is currently underway to seek input on a community affordable housing strategic plan. Public input on that process ended on August 30, 2023.
For more information on either plan, visit www.accgov.com/arpa or contact the ACCGov Housing and Community Development Department at 706-613-3155 or email@example.com.