Public Square Atlanta Homelessness Webinar


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This is the presentation used during's "Homelessness Around Atlanta" webinar, which took place on Dec. 15, 2011. The bulk of the content was prepared by the Gateway Center and United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta for speakers Vince Smith and Phil Hunter, respectively.

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  • Vince Smith is the founding director of the Gateway Center. He led the collaboration, assisted with design and planning, and gave leadership to the opening of the Center on July 27, 2005. Vince continues to serve as Executive Director of the Gateway Center, a keystone project of the United Way Regional Commission on Homelessness and one of the largest homeless services centers in Georgia, serving more than 9,000 homeless men, women, and children in 2008.Phil Hunter has worked with the homeless for five years and is head of United Way’s Street to Home Initiative. He is a Graduate of Morehouse College and is currently pursuing a Masters in Divinity at Beulah Heights University
  • Public Square Atlanta Homelessness Webinar

    1. 1. Webinar: Homelessness Around Atlanta December 15, 2011
    2. 2. Vince Smith Phil HunterExecutive Director, Gateway Center Director, Homelessness, Unite d Way of Metropolitan Atlanta
    3. 3. Looking Back, Moving Forward
    4. 4. Vince Smith is the founding director of the Gateway Center, a keystoneproject of the United Way Regional Commission on Homelessness andone of the largest homeless services centers in Georgia. The GatewayCenter served more than 9,000 homeless men, women, and children in2008 and works to restore homeless individuals to self-sustainability. Heled the collaboration, assisted with design and planning, and gaveleadership to the opening of the Center on July 27, 2005.Vince is a graduate of Dallas Baptist College, Southwestern BaptistTheological Seminary, and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.He is an ordained Baptist minister and educator, having taught in anadjunct capacity at several colleges and universities, including theEmory University Candler School of Theology.Since 1990, Vince has worked among the homeless in the Atlantacommunity. He has initiated residential recovery and transitional housingprograms, as well as served in key leadership capacity to open 4 centersfocused on serving homeless men, women, and children. He is apublished author, has received several community awards for hisservice, and served on the Board of Directors of TechBridge. His passion is ending homelessness! 4
    5. 5.  The Gateway Center works to end homelessness, and particularly chronic homelessness, by providing the support and framework people need to achieve self-sufficiency. Through therapeutic programs and services, the Gateway helps homeless individuals in metro Atlanta move into transitional and permanent housing. 5
    6. 6. Among other successes, the Gateway Center has: Placed more than 5,800 individuals in permanent housing Helped more than 4,800 individuals find employment or enter training programs that lead to employment Reunited more than 8,300 people with family/friend support systems in other states Assisted more than 50,000 different homeless individuals with Gateway Center and partner services Provided humane services such as showers, telephones, lockers and clothing services to over 90 people per day Served more than 1,000,000 meals 6
    7. 7. A Regional Approach: Eight jurisdictions have voluntarily come together to solvehomeless problems.A Strong Focus: Commission’s strong focus is on: (1)ending chronichomelessness (2) preventing homelessness and (3) creating amore responsive system for the temporarily homeless.A Collaborative Effort: We foster continuous communication and cooperation betweenproviders, federal, state and local governments, and the businessand faith community. 7
    8. 8. Our JurisdictionsThe Commission consists of eight jurisdictions, includingthe City of Atlanta. Each jurisdiction has supportivehousing and programs for homeless families andindividuals. 8
    9. 9.  Prevention  Reunified over 15,000 persons.  UW provides over $1 million every year for prevention.  UW coordinated $8 million through the Fresh Start Program. Outreach/ Intake and Assessment  Gateway 24/7 Homeless Service Center serves over 6,000 persons each year.  Coordinated 7-8 outreach teams to reach out to the vulnerable on streets and connect them with housing.  Have 6 PATH teams doing outreach (for those with mental illness)
    10. 10.  Supportive Housing  Created over 2,500 units of housing with support services.  Created over 650 units of housing for women and children.  Working with the city, received $22 million in ADA bonds to develop housing with support and assessment centers.  Partnered with City of Atlanta to obtain over 300 housing units upon closure of Fort McPherson.  Tracked 1,200 people in housing every quarter, and approximately 90% remain stably housed after 1 year.  Implemented Street to Home and Hospital to Home using “Housing First” efforts to target specific populations.  Partnered with Veteran’s Administration resulting in over 600 veterans receiving permanent supportive housing.
    11. 11. • Supportive Housing cont.  Supported Georgia Housing Search to provide access to affordable housing. Over 100,000 units listed.  Worked with AHA to have over 600 Section 8 Vouchers for homeless persons. Services  Created Case Management Training Academy which has trained more than 265 case managers metro wide since 2008.  Provided employment for over 1,800 homeless persons through our partners.  Assisted with SSDI person at First Step Benefits; changed system of applying for benefits. Other  Raised over $40 million from private funders.
    12. 12. RCOH is focused on implementing systems changes in order to create sustainability beyond 2013. There have been major systems changes in the following areas: Supportive Housing  Created over 2,500 units of housing and implemented Housing First. Benefits  Increased rate of approvals for SSDI from 20% with a 2 year wait to 79% in 120 days. Women and Children  Changed from shelter system to collaborative assessment centers and housing sites. Case Management  Upgraded skill levels and capabilities of case managers, and created network where agencies share resources.
    13. 13.  Working with emergency room frequent flyers Created giving back program for formerly homeless – the Peers reaching out ( PRO) team Promoting shared apartments for single men to ensure affordability ( over 50 apts) Implemented monthly case management training Promoting Incentives based case management Created The Anticipation Project – for those waiting on benefits. Created VetsConnect – working with homeless veterans 13
    14. 14.  Without the collaboration and commitments of our provider partners and the RCOH staff, the support of the United Way, the leadership of government, and the support of foundations and volunteers, we would not have accomplished what we have. The RCOH provides leadership by identifying gaps, helping to fill unmet needs, directing resources to the best practices and raising the professionalism of everyone by setting standards and measures. 14
    15. 15. United Way Regional Commission on HomelessnessThe Street to Home Project
    16. 16. From the Streets…
    17. 17. …To Homes
    18. 18. …And Independence!
    19. 19. Street to Home Statistics•Since 2011, the Street to Home Initiativehas reached more than 650 individuals•More than 200 volunteers havecontributed to the outreach program•75 percent of participants moved towardself-sufficiency•49 percent of participants are in permanenthousing or have moved on to other programs
    20. 20. Street to Home Video
    21. 21. Thank you all for coming today, and thanks to our speakers.To continue the conversation, organize, and share your own efforts, we encourage you toparticipate at us on Twitter at us on Facebook at to our blog at http://publicsquareatlanta.tumblr.comTo contact us about issues in your community or for help with Public Square Atlanta, please get intouch with Jason Parker at