Friday, May 9, 2014

Eaves to Reed: Join me to talk about homelessness on May 19

Posted By on Fri, May 9, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Fulton County Chairman John Eaves
Over the past week, Mayor Kasim Reed and Fulton County Chairman John Eaves have jousted on Fresh Loaf over homelessness. On Thursday night, Eaves responded again.

Head to Eaves' Facebook page if you want to read the chairman's explanation of the county's financial constraints, some of which are thanks in part to Gold Dome Republicans' efforts to restrict Fulton's spending. Below we've pasted the piece of the column in which Eaves asks the mayor to join him, county leaders, and service providers on May 19 to discuss solutions to metro Atlanta's homeless population. Eaves writes:

That brings me back to the original topic, homelessness in Metro Atlanta. The cuts we have made are not out of spite to that challenged population, but because of competing priorities within county government. The breakdown of the Tri-J has turned a regional priority into a series of isolated provincial concerns. This does not serve that population nor does it fully tackle the problem. Something else that does not serve this population: making Fulton County an adversary on this issue rather than making it a partner.

I want to sit down with Mayor Reed to come up with a solution that aggressively attacks this issue, not each other. Here's what I propose: Between county and city leadership, we have innumerable partners in the private sector that could be brought into this discussion. They along with local clergy and other traditional providers of services to our indigent population can help us come up with a framework that serves the people of Jefferson Place and Springdale Place. I want a solution that ensures funding and gets help to those who desperately need it. That is the issue. That is why I have already convened a meeting May 19th with United Way CEO Milton Little, Fulton County Manager Dwight Ferrell, Commissioner Joan Garner, several others and myself to discuss an approach to handling this problem. Mayor Reed needs to be a part of that meeting.

I don't want back and forth sniping. Sadly, that is what this discussion of Metro Atlanta's homeless population has become. I want action and I need Mayor Reed's voice to be heard at the table armed with plenty of constructive solutions. This is an open invitation to the Mayor. Mayor Reed, there is a seat at the table waiting for you.

We asked the mayor's office last night if Reed would accept the invitation. We'll update if we hear back. And then we're ending the back-and-forth.

UPDATE, 10:57 a.m. Reed responds to Eaves on Twitter. Screenshots after the jump.

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