In two weeks, Columbus Council could vote on a 10-year plan to eradicate homelessness and pave the way for hiring an executive director to execute the plan.
“There needs to be someone who eats, sleeps and breathes this plan every single day, doing nothing but executing the plan,” said Shana Young, assistant director of the Cunningham Center for Leadership Development at Columbus State University. Young has worked with the Homeless Task Force to compile a 76-page report on how to end homelessness by 2020.
Young will present the final plan to the 10-member council on Dec. 14. If the plan is approved, City Manager Isaiah Hugley said some type of funding could be in place by January. During a briefing at a work session Tuesday, Young expressed the need to hire someone to execute the plan to deal with an estimated 1,500 homeless people on any day in the Columbus area. The director would help raise money for the plan. “We can’t continue to rely on what we have,” Young said.
If council wants to execute the plan, Hugley said there would be $50,000 available between now and June 30, when the fiscal 2010 budget ends. After July 1 2011, the city manager said there may be up to $100,000 for the effort to end homelessness.
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The city won’t hire an employee to execute the plan but would turn to a non-profit organization to provide the service. The city won’t dictate to the nonprofit that the money is used for an executive director but would urge them to start the execution process of the homeless plan.
“The execution process is going to require a person in charge who is thinking about this day and night, coordinating, collaborating and communicating with all the existing agencies that we make sure we can execute the homeless plan in accordance with work that’s been done through the Cunningham Center for Leadership Development an all those affiliated agencies,” Hugley said.
The person hired as director would work for the nonprofit organization. Currently the city gives the Homeless Resource Network, a nonprofit, $50,000 a year to help the homeless. Hugley said Community Development Block Grant funds would be used to fund the plan on a year to year basis.
“If council decides it wants to approve funding, any funding that would be provided would be on a year to year basis,” he said. That would require an application for funds like any other CDBG agent, he said.