Glenn Thomas Clarifies Position on Task Force for the Homeless

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So I saw Michael Julian Bond posted photos from the Task Force water rally on Facebook and Mayoral candidate Glenn Thomas was there.

So I commented on the photo because Thomas had told APN that he would not support funding the Task Foce for the next FY.  Thomas came back with an explanation and a Facebook dialogue ensued:

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Matthew Cardinale at 3:40pm June 24

Glenn Thomas was there? He said he didn’t support the Task Force in his APN questionairre.

Glenn Thomas at 3:53pm June 24

Nope Mathew; I said I do not support the city funding the Task Force anymore; I DO support the city raising the same amount of money for homelessness as it has for the King Papers, Arts, Next Step, and other Mayor Franklin initiatives…the money the city provides is not enough, nor is it the answer. Read my comments again Matthew; I believe in collaborative efforts outside of tax dollars when it comes to social issues such as homelessness, hunger, poverty (Our tax base isn’t strong enough to put a financial dent into this issue). We should be leveraging relationships with non-profits, churches, business communities, etc. to bring solutions to the table for the Task Force. I am the only candidate that has stood, willing to work on real solutions about these type of issues.

Glenn Thomas at 3:56pm June 24

Matthew (to give you a reminder)No, I will not reinstate a funding recommendation for the Metro Atlanta Task Force for fiscal year 2011; however, I will recommend that the city of Atlanta dedicate funding and staff in an effort to work with mental health non-profits, food-banks, clothing companies, real estate owned properties – banks, churches, civic organizations, and many more stakeholders, in an effort to bring about results through a transition process for homeless population back into society. I believe homelessness is a larger issue than we (government) are willing to admit. I want to lead by providing substantive solutions for those in the homeless population who have the desire to transition back into society. But also, I believe we must assist and help those in the homeless population who suffer from mental illness, battery, war ailments, and other socio-mental diseases and debilitation.

Glenn Thomas at 4:01pm June 24

@ Matthew: Key words….no funding in 2011 (our budget is short)….city funding (we have to be more diverse in funding opportunities)…dedicated funding and staff for homelessness initiatives (I am committed to making homeless a priority, not a plague). I was there because I believe in the efforts of Ms. Beatty and the Task Force.

Matthew Cardinale at 4:35pm June 24

Well, that adds more context. So am I to understand you wouldn’t support FY11 city funding for the Gateway Center either?

Glenn Thomas at 4:45pm June 24

My priorities will be to fully fund public safety, health and welfare city services first. All services and programs that are funded with city dollars will have to stand up to the prioritized based budgeting model. The Gateway Center, Task Force, etc. will all fall under this budgeting module and be presented based on priorities, period. The council and excutive offices will work together to outline the priorities of the city strategic plan for the upcoming term. Based on that, I will recommend funding accordingly. This system works; I will still recommend funding for staff/operations resources for both centers until we have a soluable plan to address homelessness and socio-economic issues. My commitment is to keep us moving forward in an honest, financially healthy, deliberate and caring manner.

Glenn Thomas at 4:46pm June 24

@ Matthew: And no, not funding in the manner that has been historically.

Glenn Thomas at 4:50pm June 24

@Matthew:Case in point (one example): water bills- the city can adequately support the water/sewer bills of each center, just as they do for fire stations. This type of relief off-sets any monies that the city does not give these centers.

Matthew Cardinale at 5:17pm June 24

Okey dokey then. Not to belabor the point, but when I wrote about supporting a “funding recommendation” I was actually referring to the City’s recommendation to US HUD about who they should fund. Shirley has stood in the way of TF receiving not only city monies, but federal dollars. None of the candidates picked up on that nuance in my question.

Glenn Thomas at 6:14pm June 24

Ohhh…that would have been good info to have; lol

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