Albany, Ga. The city of Albany is shifting the way it provides emergency housing for homeless families.
The city will be holding two public hearings on July 12 to explain to the public why and how it will be changing the program that helps put a temporary roof over the heads of homeless families.
"We want to put (homeless families) in a more secure environment, because of the locations of those units and the challenges for that area, we didn't' feel it would be the best place for them to be placed," Latoya Cutts, director of the city's Community and Economic Development Department said.
The city will attempt to sell the two buildings, 15-unit structures near the intersection of South Davis Street and Highland Avenue and will switch the program to a voucher-based program that will allow families to stay for up to 30 days in under-booked area hotels.
The program, which is funded through a grant from Georgia's Department of Community Affairs, is limited to homeless families and not individuals seeking transitional housing, Cutts said.
During those 30 days, the state requires the city to provide case management and financial counseling to help the families avoid returning to the streets when their time in the program is up.
"We have to look at their budget, we have to look at what caused them to be homeless in the first place so they don't end up back out on the streets," Cutts said. "The key is to connect them to resources to help them so they're not going at it alone."
Those resources are typically other state agencies, non-profit organizations and faith-based centers.
The public hearings are set for noon and 5:30 p.m. on July 12 at the Microbusiness Enterprise Business Center on South Jackson Street next to the civil rights park.