The South Georgia Coalition to End Homelessness is counting on a $750,000 grant to help keep people from living on the streets. The money will make it easier for low income residents to find the help they need simply by calling 2-1-1.
For several months, the 2-1-1 call center in Valdosta has been struggling to staff its operation which helps find help for the needy, but help could be on the way thanks to a federal grant which has won early approval.
"It’s a $745,000, three-year grant. The grant would afford us two full-time call agents for a three-year period and also three full-time case managers to go out and serve," the director says.
The call agents and case managers would all be working to prevent folks from becoming homeless by referring them to get help from the right local agency.
Jane Osborn of the Coalition to End Homelessness says, "There are a lot of things we can refer people to that they don't even ask about. Because we have social workers staffing our facility, we're looking at the big picture and tying to help people handle their own problems and not call us back in the future."
Despite being given early approval on the huge grant, the new staff and service will not start until the final announcement is made, but local officials are ready to hit the ground running.
Osborn adds, "We will begin to really be able to do what we've been trying to do for the better part of six yeas, which is to make our service available to our 18 counties."
The coalition's service region covers 18 south central Georgia counties, meaning the grant will help thousands of people who need it the most.