Gwinnett County is working with United Way of Greater Atlanta to help reduce homelessness. Commissioners agreed Tuesday to pay $50,000 to cover half the staffing costs of a new full-time position to lead a joint effort.

Chairman Charlotte Nash said funding for this agreement comes from the additional $500,000 allocated in the County’s 2018 budget to address issues of homelessness in the community.

“The Board of Commissioners’ priorities set earlier this year include recognizing homelessness as a persistent issue and leveraging resources with community partners,” said Nash. “Offering a continuum of care for the homeless is listed as a two-year goal.

District 2 Commissioner Lynette Howard pointed out that homelessness is a problem that affects families from all walks of life.

“Anyone can end up in need, whether caused by an accident, mental or physical illness, addiction, or any number of other reasons,” said Howard. “This agreement opens up an opportunity to improve the continuum of care for the residents of our county by connecting providers and providing appropriate support to the Gwinnett standard. We need a leader to develop a systematic and strategic approach to homelessness and affordable housing issues, and United Way is a great partner to help us meet this goal.”

Pat McDonough, who chairs the United Way of Greater Atlanta Gwinnett Board, added, “With Chairman Nash’s and the district commissioners’ leadership, we have been able to bring together private business like Primerica, the nonprofit community, and the Chamber of Commerce to create a strategic plan that will have a real impact and empower our community. I am excited to be part of this movement.”

Responsibilities for the new position include assessing current needs, developing a plan, and coordinating action with local leaders and stakeholders.