[Hpn] Homeless shelter works to improve the community

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Sun, 29 Apr 2007 03:41:35 -0400


This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

------=_NextPart_000_0013_01C78A10.48EEAE20
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
	boundary="----=_NextPart_001_0014_01C78A10.48EEAE20"


------=_NextPart_001_0014_01C78A10.48EEAE20
Content-Type: text/plain;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Forum: Homeless shelter works to improve the community
By Bryan McCullick  =20

http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/042907/opinion_20070429022.shtml

Sunday, April 29, 2007=20
In the current discussion about how best to redevelop the U.S. Navy =
Supply Corps School campus, which will be shut down by the Navy by 2011 =
as part of the federal Base Realignment and Closure initiative, many =
discussions have centered on the issue of assisting low-income =
individuals.

Many recent letters to the editor have opposed the idea of helping the =
homeless in general. I am concerned that there is general misinformation =
in the public regarding hardworking, low-income families who are working =
to become middle-class citizens. In particular, I think there is a major =
misconception regarding the mission, purpose and programs of the Athens =
Area Homeless Shelter that needs clarification. I say this as someone =
who, until recently, was truly ignorant as to what the AAHS does for =
adults and, most importantly, children in the Athens area.

It's likely that many perceive the AAHS as a "camp" or a "hotel" for =
those without homes or jobs. A few might even go as far as to say it's a =
place for those too lazy to find employment. This is, however, a fallacy =
that should be erased.

The shelter is one method of fighting poverty and improving our =
community by assisting people in their quest to lead productive lives. =
The ultimate goal of the AAHS is to have no clients to serve. At this =
time in Athens-Clarke County - with its well-documented 28 percent =
poverty rate - and in the United States, we are far from that goal. =
Census Bureau data for 2005 revealed 37 million Americans are living in =
poverty.

Working to eliminate poverty necessitates development and maintenance of =
excellent local programs like Job TREC, Almost Home and the Nancy Travis =
House, which are at the heart of the AAHS mission. In 2006, due to =
community support and the work of Executive Director Courtney Davis and =
her tireless staff and volunteers, the AAHS had unprecedented success in =
making strides toward decreasing and ultimately eliminating homelessness =
in our area. Please consider these numbers:

 The Job Training, Referral, Education and Employment Center program =
served 280 separate clients in 2006; 68 percent were able to find =
employment within three months of enrolling in the program, and 70 =
percent of those people were able to maintain that employment. =
Furthermore, and perhaps more impressive, 45 percent of the people =
served by Job TREC graduated from the program and found permanent =
housing.

 Since July 2006, the Almost Home program has served 97 individuals, =
including 55 children. With the latest projection by the Clarke County =
School District that more than 300 of its students are homeless this =
school year, it can be said that the AAHS is helping to alleviate the =
harsh reality that children are severely impacted by not having a home =
to go to sleep in at night.

 Children also are benefiting from the Nancy Travis House Program that =
has served 25 Clarke County children since July 2006 by providing child =
care vouchers to parents who are working or seeking work and cannot =
afford child care. Given that the largest portion of the U.S. population =
living in poverty is children, this service seems all the more =
important.

In upcoming months, the people of this area will have three exceptional =
opportunities to ensure the AAHS remains in operation and continues its =
quest to eliminate homelessness and its associated problems. First, in =
late spring, the AAHS will conduct its very first Annual Appeal. If you =
receive a call for help, please reflect on the numbers above and =
consider what the AAHS does to make Athens-Clarke County what it is. =
Then, decide what is appropriate for you and your family and give.

A second opportunity is the annual Gimme Shelter benefit concert. The =
music community gives back at this event, when local bands come together =
to cover songs from their favorite artists. A sponsorship of and =
attendance at this event would help increase the impact of the AAHS.

Third, the AAHS has just received notice it will be included in the =
Georgia Shares program in the fall. University System of Georgia and =
other state employees now will have the option of selecting the Athens =
Area Homeless Shelter as one of the recipients of a monthly payroll =
deduction.

The AAHS is vital to improving the quality of life not just for those in =
need, but for all citizens of Athens-Clarke County. The contributions to =
the economy it makes, by helping the unemployed become employed and =
enabling those living on the streets to move into permanent housing, =
benefit everyone who lives in the area. Since we benefit, we should =
give. Please do.

. McCullick is on the board of directors for the Athens Area Homeless =
Shelter.


------=_NextPart_001_0014_01C78A10.48EEAE20
Content-Type: text/html;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<HTML><HEAD>
<META http-equiv=3DContent-Type content=3D"text/html; =
charset=3Diso-8859-1">
<META content=3D"MSHTML 6.00.2900.3059" name=3DGENERATOR>
<STYLE></STYLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
<DIV>
<H2>Forum: Homeless shelter works to improve the community</H2>
<H3></H3><SW_PHOTOS>
<DIV class=3Dstamp><SPAN class=3Dbyline1>By Bryan=20
McCullick</SPAN>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV class=3Dstamp><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV class=3Dstamp><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><A=20
href=3D"http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/042907/opinion_20070429022.sh=
tml">http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/042907/opinion_20070429022.shtml=
</A></FONT></DIV>
<DIV class=3Dstamp>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV class=3Dstamp><SPAN class=3Dtimestamp>Sunday, April 29, 2007</SPAN> =
</DIV><MCC=20
STORY>
<P>In the current discussion about how best to redevelop the U.S. Navy =
Supply=20
Corps School campus, which will be shut down by the Navy by 2011 as part =
of the=20
federal Base Realignment and Closure initiative, many discussions have =
centered=20
on the issue of assisting low-income individuals.</P>
<P>Many recent letters to the editor have opposed the idea of helping =
the=20
homeless in general. I am concerned that there is general misinformation =
in the=20
public regarding hardworking, low-income families who are working to =
become=20
middle-class citizens. In particular, I think there is a major =
misconception=20
regarding the mission, purpose and programs of the Athens Area Homeless =
Shelter=20
that needs clarification. I say this as someone who, until recently, was =
truly=20
ignorant as to what the AAHS does for adults and, most importantly, =
children in=20
the Athens area.</P>
<P>It's likely that many perceive the AAHS as a "camp" or a "hotel" for =
those=20
without homes or jobs. A few might even go as far as to say it's a place =
for=20
those too lazy to find employment. This is, however, a fallacy that =
should be=20
erased.</P>
<P>The shelter is one method of fighting poverty and improving our =
community by=20
assisting people in their quest to lead productive lives. The ultimate =
goal of=20
the AAHS is to have no clients to serve. At this time in Athens-Clarke =
County -=20
with its well-documented 28 percent poverty rate - and in the United =
States, we=20
are far from that goal. Census Bureau data for 2005 revealed 37 million=20
Americans are living in poverty.</P><!-- End AdSpace -->
<P>Working to eliminate poverty necessitates development and maintenance =
of=20
excellent local programs like Job TREC, Almost Home and the Nancy Travis =
House,=20
which are at the heart of the AAHS mission. In 2006, due to community =
support=20
and the work of Executive Director Courtney Davis and her tireless staff =
and=20
volunteers, the AAHS had unprecedented success in making strides toward=20
decreasing and ultimately eliminating homelessness in our area. Please =
consider=20
these numbers:</P>
<P><IMG height=3D11 src=3D"http://www.onlineathens.com/bulletclear.gif" =
width=3D9> The=20
Job Training, Referral, Education and Employment Center program served =
280=20
separate clients in 2006; 68 percent were able to find employment within =
three=20
months of enrolling in the program, and 70 percent of those people were =
able to=20
maintain that employment. Furthermore, and perhaps more impressive, 45 =
percent=20
of the people served by Job TREC graduated from the program and found =
permanent=20
housing.</P>
<P><IMG height=3D11 src=3D"http://www.onlineathens.com/bulletclear.gif" =
width=3D9>=20
Since July 2006, the Almost Home program has served 97 individuals, =
including 55=20
children. With the latest projection by the Clarke County School =
District that=20
more than 300 of its students are homeless this school year, it can be =
said that=20
the AAHS is helping to alleviate the harsh reality that children are =
severely=20
impacted by not having a home to go to sleep in at night.</P>
<P><IMG height=3D11 src=3D"http://www.onlineathens.com/bulletclear.gif" =
width=3D9>=20
Children also are benefiting from the Nancy Travis House Program that =
has served=20
25 Clarke County children since July 2006 by providing child care =
vouchers to=20
parents who are working or seeking work and cannot afford child care. =
Given that=20
the largest portion of the U.S. population living in poverty is =
children, this=20
service seems all the more important.</P>
<P>In upcoming months, the people of this area will have three =
exceptional=20
opportunities to ensure the AAHS remains in operation and continues its =
quest to=20
eliminate homelessness and its associated problems. First, in late =
spring, the=20
AAHS will conduct its very first Annual Appeal. If you receive a call =
for help,=20
please reflect on the numbers above and consider what the AAHS does to =
make=20
Athens-Clarke County what it is. Then, decide what is appropriate for =
you and=20
your family and give.</P>
<P>A second opportunity is the annual Gimme Shelter benefit concert. The =
music=20
community gives back at this event, when local bands come together to =
cover=20
songs from their favorite artists. A sponsorship of and attendance at =
this event=20
would help increase the impact of the AAHS.</P>
<P>Third, the AAHS has just received notice it will be included in the =
Georgia=20
Shares program in the fall. University System of Georgia and other state =

employees now will have the option of selecting the Athens Area Homeless =
Shelter=20
as one of the recipients of a monthly payroll deduction.</P>
<P>The AAHS is vital to improving the quality of life not just for those =
in=20
need, but for all citizens of Athens-Clarke County. The contributions to =
the=20
economy it makes, by helping the unemployed become employed and enabling =
those=20
living on the streets to move into permanent housing, benefit everyone =
who lives=20
in the area. Since we benefit, we should give. Please do.</P>
<P>=95 McCullick is on the board of directors for the Athens Area =
Homeless=20
Shelter.</P></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV></BODY></HTML>

------=_NextPart_001_0014_01C78A10.48EEAE20--

------=_NextPart_000_0013_01C78A10.48EEAE20
Content-Type: image/gif;
	name="bulletclear.gif"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
Content-Location: http://www.onlineathens.com/bulletclear.gif

R0lGODlhCQALALMAAAAAABAQECAgIDAwMEBAQFBQUGBgYH9/f5+fn6+vr7+/v8/Pz9/f3+/v7///
/8DAwCH5BAEAAA8AIf4WR0lGIFNtYXJ0U2F2ZXIgVmVyMS4xYQAsAAAAAAkACwAABCOwvUlnQJUC
MFTeW8Fo4HZIJRgoKRAcT2pI8UYsFSAk2QP3DwA7

------=_NextPart_000_0013_01C78A10.48EEAE20--