By Michon Trent, Senior Director of Civic Engagement
After joining the Mayor’s staff last year, I was tasked with working with homeless agencies in Mobile to gain an understanding of the role homelessness plays in individuals’ lives, as well as what role it plays in the continued growth and revitalization of Mobile.
I am now a member of the homeless taskforce, which is comprised of organizations, residents, business owners, members of the Mobile Police Department and other city employees who are concerned and want to provide the right services for our most needy residents.
The focus of the taskforce is to provide the best services our community can offer to the homeless. To do so, we identify who the homeless are in our community and establish what their needs are and what services exist to address those needs. This is an unprecedented effort to identify every available resource and bring immediate help in the most compassionate way to every homeless person who will accept it.
Recently, the taskforce led a communitywide point in time count in Mobile and Baldwin Counties. The purpose of a point in time count is to determine the number of sheltered and unsheltered individuals experiencing homelessness in our area. Now, our community has the ability to measure Mobile’s homeless population. Following the count, Project Homeless Connect offered free services for the homeless including medical, legal, veteran services, employment services and mental health.
Right now, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to create an atmosphere of change that lifts people out of homelessness. To become more involved with ending homelessness in our community, I encourage you to seek out community service opportunities with our partner agencies including Salvation Army, McKemie Place and Penelope House. To become One Mobile, every citizen must be able to truly call Mobile their home.