This societal indifference towards those at the very bottom of the socioeconomic ladder, has also manifested as large scale withdrawal of governmental support for homeless programs. Both federal and local governmental funding for Emergency Shelters and Transitional Housing programs have been decreased drastically and even eliminated in some cases. As many have complained against “Big Government” and advocated personal responsibility, there remain many amongst us who are ill equipped to compete in today’s labor market, for various reasons. Our clients often experience systemic barriers, directly or indirectly, related to their poverty that nearly makes upward mobility an impossibility. We see such extreme cases of unaddressed mental illnesses including: post- traumatic stress disorder; depression; anxiety; psychotic disorders, etc. When we also consider the unaddressed medical issues, subsequent substance abuse, and the impact these issues have on relationships, it becomes clear why these clients have become disconnected from their natural support networks.
We at Community Concerns, Inc., have developed the necessary expertise to address and resolve these barriers for our clients.
It is my esteemed pleasure to greet you as the Executive Director of Community Concerns, Inc., an agency designed to provide holistic solutions to the challenges that have led many of our brothers and sisters into homelessness and poverty. I have had the opportunity to witness, firsthand, as a group of inspired church members came together to form an alliance with other churches, businesses, and concerned citizens to support the most visibly needy persons in our community. As a child I watched my father, Rev., Dr. J. Allen Milner Sr., lead his congregation to fulfill what he interpreted to be a mandate to assist those who are most in need.
Those early years provided me with a bird’s eye view of those experiencing homelessness in Atlanta, and the struggles that they face on a daily basis. I recall older church members, including my grandmother, coming together to prepare and serve meals to a seemingly endless line of people with no other hope of getting a meal for the day. I recall the times when we ran out of food before serving everyone in line, and scrambling to offer a bag of potato chips to prevent having a hungry brother leave totally empty handed. During those times, the local and federal government recognized the homeless situation had reached epidemic proportions, and were anxious to provide relief through agencies like ours.
Unfortunately, we as a society appear to have become somewhat desensitized to the homeless situation. It is no longer alarming to see people sleeping under the bridge, or even right on the sidewalk of Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta. I watch as young college students simply walk around the person sleeping under the bridge as they continue along with earphones in their ears, oblivious to the living hell that this person experiences.
Those who are willing to work with us, are given an opportunity to change, not only their lives, but the lives of their family members as well. We invite you to join us as we work together, as a community, to support those amongst us who need it the most. We utilize recommended best practices and the approaches that have been proven to motivate people toward real substantial change. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and psychotherapist, I personally insure that we utilize the best therapeutic interventions available to us to address the outstanding Behavioral Health Needs of this population. The only missing ingredient is you! We invite you to join us as we continue the proud legacy of Community Concerns, Inc., as we work to create a better world for us all!