Homelessness Task Force

Alli Mitchell, executive director of the United Way of Rome & Floyd County, speaks at the Homelessness Task Force meeting on Thursday.

This week the United Way announced recipients of grants that they say will make a local impact by fully funding specific projects within local charitable organizations.

The group’s recent restructure of Community Impact Grants “allows substantial and meaningful investment in the work of local nonprofit organizations,” United Way Executive Director Alli Mitchell said.

Traditionally, the group has funded nonprofits across Floyd County through a process of fundraising and then distribution. Those grants then went to area organizations. The difference is now those grants go to fully fund specific programs within local organizations.

“It’s understandable how there can be confusion around this issue — there have been many changes along the way of building a new program in most all ways this year,” she said.

For a two year period, the group will fully fund the following programs:

Act Right, a collaboration with Rome-Floyd YMCA — $20,000

Acts of Kindness, a collaboration with Summit Quest — $20,000

Cooking Matters and Outdoor Adventures, a collaboration with Summit Quest — $12,000

Become Unsinkable, a collaboration with Rome-Floyd YMCA — $100,000

Exchange Parent Aide, a collaboration with Family Resource Center — $70,000

No Longer Inc, a collaboration with Living Proof Recovery — $40,000

Project Learn, a collaboration with Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Georgia — $108,000.

“By fully funding these programs, we are able to direct support and build sustainability through measurable outcomes,” Mitchell stated. “A dedicated team of community volunteers reviewed program proposals and visited each organization, then made recommendations that were approved by the United Way’s board of directors.”

Seeking a permanent solution

Apart from and separate from the grant cycle funding the aforementioned programs, the United Way recently announced they intend to partner with Rome and Floyd County and create and fund a permanent position for the Interagency Council on Poverty and Homelessness.

The idea is this nonprofit organization would take over what the Homelessness Task Force began — coming up with a plan to combat poverty and homelessness in this area.

“In addition to providing 501(c)3 status for designated support, this would allow the United Way to direct a minimum of fifty percent of future Community Impact Grant funding to programs prioritized by the future Interagency Council that are a part of the collaborative plan to address these changes,” the proposal stated.

The idea is, since it’s a permanent position, it would continue to exist even if the interest begins to fizzle.

This was the case in 2009. During that time the city attempted find a path toward getting private groups to take long-term action regarding homelessness. There was momentum for a time but when the economy went south that effort went onto the back burner.

“This position will lead, coordinate and support the Interagency Council in developing and implementing the new community plan,” Mitchell wrote in an email.

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