Thursday, May 10, 2007

For shame

In developments which make me further regret voting for Brian Kemp a few years back, the former state senator is balking at helping non-profit organizations, despite the fact his organization is required by law to do just that.

Kudos to Buddy Allen for not only pointing out the legal requirements, but also the economic savings the University of Georgia is facing by being awarded the land for free.

Plans call for UGA or the private developer who takes over the base to pay about $7.9 million to a holding corporation created by the LRA. That corporation's board would find land in the North Avenue area, near other Athens social service agencies, then build or renovate about 51,000 square feet of office and residential space and lease it free to a coalition of five nonprofit groups. It also would pay for repairs and maintenance for 50 years.

The space would include an emergency shelter for children, transitional housing for homeless women and families, medical and dental clinics, day care, a day shelter, counseling programs and administrative offices. The facilities would be run by Advantage Behavioral Health Systems, the Athens Area Homeless Shelter, AIDS Athens, Athens-Oconee CASA and the Interfaith Hospitality Network under one umbrella nonprofit called Athens Resource Center for the Homeless.

That approach is the most unique and innovative that a veteran of base-closings, consultant Jim Hicks, said he's ever seen.

What can I say, we like thinking outside the box. This is one crucial step in addressing several major obstacles that families in poverty face.


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