Groups helping homeless collaborate to prevent duplicate organizations

The summit gathered groups who aid the homeless to open lines of communication and collaboration / Sarah Bleau

Local students helped organize a summit for service providers that assist the homeless to collaborate.

"The major goal is to stop homelessness all together and in order to do that everyone has to have an understanding of what they can bring to the table to take care of homelessness," says Albany State University Student Courtney English.

From the Homeless Coalition to local churches, various city and county groups gathered to talk about what they can offer the homeless and what they can offer their fellow organizations.

"Our organizations have to talk to one another, they have to work with one another they need to create leadership towards movement in ending homelessness especially in the Albany-Dougherty area," says Tom Plamann, Program Director for the Georgia Alliance to End Homelessness. "I'm very enthusiastic about the collaboration that we built with just today's meeting. From what I understand this is the largest collaborative gathering that Albany has had in a very long time."

Plamann says there are a lot of duplicate services helping the homeless in the area, so he hopes the conference opened lines of communication to prevent this and also opened up lines for collaboration.

"Funding for homeless services - funding for just about anything - is very limited so we don't want to duplicate services. We want organizations and individuals talking to one another," says Plamann.

And it's the individuals who he says will really move the effort to end homeless closer to resolution.

"It's the folks on the ground, the folks in Albany that are the ones that are going to be able to have those opportunities to help the homeless in their community," says Plamann.

After all, the local movement against homelessness is what inspired English to help on Tuesday.

"I'm from Albany so it's definitely something in my heart that I want to help out in my community," says English.