Parenting

Addressing the Homeless Challenge in Gwinnett County

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homelessThe numbers are staggering. Recent figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development”s Point-In-Time data estimate that 60 percent of Gwinnett”s homeless family population are children, with half of those under age six. Even more disturbing is the news that during the 2011-12 school year, Gwinnett County Public Schools accommodated nearly 2,250 homeless students. For families struggling to find temporary housing, seek advice from the following Gwinnett non-profits uniquely qualified to help during this challenging time.

The Salvation Army Home Sweet Home Program
This program helps homeless families in need by providing an immediate avenue back to independent living. This is accomplished by offering in-home case management in a holistic manner that serves to educate and empower families, to help them regain ties to the community and sustain permanent, stable housing. For more information, call (770) 724-1660 or visit salvationarmyatlanta.org.

The United Way of Gwinnett County
As one of the leading nonprofit organizations in the country, United Way solves the most challenging issues in the areas of education, health, homelessness, and income. To assist with homeless families, the organization works hard to people get housed within one year. They provide housing that is connected to support services such as case management. Check out unitedwayatlanta.org or call (678) 417-6434 for more information.

The IMPACT! Group
The IMPACT! Group offers a spectrum of housing assistance services that help families from all economic backgrounds. They operate two divisions: transitional housing and homeownership. The Transitional Housing program helps homeless families with children move to self-sufficiency and permanent housing. Homeownership Center provides homebuyer and homeowner education, counseling and free foreclosure prevention help to residents. Reach them at (678) 808-4477 or visit theimpactgroup.org.

Rainbow Village
Rainbow Village is a transitional housing community for homeless families with children. The organization offers a multi-year program that includes support services for the whole family including life skills training, character building, counseling, career development, after-school programs, financial education, and much more. For more information, call (770) 497-1888 or visit rainbowvillage.org.

A Gwinnett Success Story
Single mom Shimika Gaither has unvarying faith even with all the hurdles life has put in her way. “It”s hard for me to be negative. I pray a lot and I teach my 8-year-old son, Jimorie, to stay strong through positivity.”#

Just last year, Gaither and her son were living in a hotel, barely making enough to live. Today, they have their very own apartment due to The Salvation Army”s Home Sweet Home program.

“The Salvation Army has assisted throughout this tough time. They set me up with a counselor and provided me with food. I got in this program for stability and the great people at the Salvation Army are helping me along the way,”# she says