Lauren Lynn

Kindness Matters

Image text: How will you “make your mark”?
I will make my mark by inviting homeless people in to my home, find the adults a job, find the children a school, and here is how I am going to do it: Step 1: Find homeless people. I will go to a homeless shelter and pick up a few people and put them in the car. Step 2: Take people to my house. Take the people to my house. Step 3: Have dinner with people. We will have veggie soup. A good dinner for homeless people. Step 4: Jobs. I ask 2 adults what they wanted to be. They both said they wanted to be a nurse. Step 5: I ask the children if they had gone to school and they said no. So I sent them to school. I will repeat over and over. -Jackson

This artwork was recently shared with United Way’s Home for Good. Jackson attends elementary school in the Chattahoochee Valley. He reminds us that kindness matters, especially to the most vulnerable. His simple plan to help the homeless shows how “making your mark” in the world is all about helping others.  

Jackson’s plan points out we can all play a part in ending homelessness; we can start by being kind. People experiencing homelessness can often feel invisible. Kindness is free. It doesn’t cost anything to be considerate and thoughtful. During this challenging time, a simple smile or even a hello can remind someone they are seen and respected.  

Kindness is treating those around you with compassion, concern, and acceptance. It allows us to create meaningful connections and strengthens bonds. Kindness is practicing empathy. It is opening our eyes to the needs of others. This is what truly creates a community.    

What can you do? Practice acts of kindness and begin by being kind to yourself. Get enough rest, wash your hands, reframe thoughts to positive ones. Social distancing that has been recommended recently can cause loneliness. Practice kindness toward others by checking in on your neighbors. Remember that small acts of kindness make a significant impact, especially to our most vulnerable and at-risk citizens.   

Posted by Lauren Lynn in Blog, Featured

Making a Difference, One Person at a Time

Making a Difference, One Person at a Time

Because of contributions from donors and the tireless work of our community agencies, we have the opportunity to help those experiencing homelessness. Our approach of “Housing First” is a proven strategy. This ensures wrap around services are provided for each individual along with a safe and warm place to live. 

The combined efforts of Home for Good and our partners is making a profound difference in the lives of our most vulnerable citizens. The commitment of our partner agencies does not go unnoticed, especially by those that have been helped.  

Utilizing data gathered from 211 inquiries, community needs are ranked each spring.  Agencies continually modify or completely change program design to meet the changing needs of the community – and it works. As an example, the number of children experiencing homelessness is down as a result. 

The annual Point In Time Count shows us that the number of individuals becoming homeless is declining. The data collected reveals in 2016, we experienced our highest count of individuals facing homelessness. There were 282 people considered homeless. In 2019, the average was down to 110 people. And as of March 6, 2020, there are 94 people experiencing homelessness.

Five years ago, we wanted to tackle Veteran homelessness. Today, there are 7 Veterans experiencing homelessness; all of whom have been offered services. 

The issue of homelessness is complex and does not have an easy answer. Cause and effect have been documented and confirms – it could happen to anyone. Read more about what causes homelessness and who experiences homelessness

Obstacles faced by those experiencing homelessness are steep. Programs and agencies are working to help each person. As the Point In Time Count shows, the programs are working, but this work takes a lot of time, effort, and resources. Because each individual is unique in their experiences, their path out of homelessness is also unique. Individualized care requires countless hours from staff, but just as important, it requires support from our community leadership and members. 

What can you do? Stay informed. Homelessness is a complicated matter, but one we can solve together. This didn’t happen overnight and will not be solved overnight. But together, we will prevent and end homelessness one person at a time.

Posted by Lauren Lynn in Blog, Featured
Point In Time Count Volunteer Training

Point In Time Count Volunteer Training

Every year, Home for Good, along with many other volunteers and Partner Agencies, conducts a survey to assess the number of people in our community who are experiencing homelessness.

This count helps us understand who in our community needs our help. We use this information to continue our work to end homelessness in the Chattahoochee Valley.

We will conduct this year’s Point In Time Count on February 16 and February 17. We will carry out the shelter count on February 16 and the unsheltered count on February 17.

Point In Time Count Volunteer Training

Thank you for your willingness to participate in this year’s Point In Time Count. It is an important process to survey our community members experiencing homelessness. We couldn’t do this without your help.

Please contact the Home for Good team for questions about volunteering: 706-327-3255

Volunteers wishing to aid in the Point In Time Count must fill out a confidentiality form and waiver.

>> Click here to fill out and submit the form electronically.

Please call 706-327-3255 with questions. 

Posted by Lauren Lynn in Point In Time Count
Point In Time Count

Point In Time Count

Every year, Home for Good, along with many other volunteers and Partner Agencies, conducts a survey to assess the number of people in our community who are experiencing homelessness.

This count helps to understand who in our community needs help. Home for Good and the Continuum of Care uses this information to continue the work to end homelessness in the Chattahoochee Valley.

The Point In Time Count for 2021 took place on February 16 and February 17. The shelter count was conducted on February 16 and the unsheltered count on February 17.

Point In Time Count Data

Despite COVID-19 and the incredible difficulties it placed on our community, especially for those most vulnerable, Home for Good increased outreach and, together with our partners, reduced the number of people experiencing homelessness.

2020 Point In Time Count

Thank you to all that participated in the 2019 Point In Time Count. We appreciate your time and effort. We could not do this work without you.

Thank you to our Co-Chairs Holli Browder, Director of the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department, and Curtis Lockette, Captain with the Muscogee County Marshal’s office.

Preliminary Data Press Release

Media Reports: WTVM | WRBL | Ledger-Enquirer

 
Posted by Lauren Lynn in Point In Time Count