Individuals without permanent housing will no longer be faced with the obstacle of transportation in attaining the resources they need because after almost 10 years of work, a $6 million resource center will make services accessible in one location.
Athens-Clarke County Housing and Community Development, Athens Resource Center for the Homeless and Athens Homeless Property Corporation are partnering with several local service providers to create the Athens Resource Center and ARCH Village, which is set to be completed in July.
“A big thing a lot of people take for granted is transportation. Availability of resources is another huge issue, and what we are able to do with this development is house multiple services and programs within one location,” said Evan Mills, the director of business development at Advantage Behavioral Health Systems.
Mills said the new facility, which will be located on North Avenue, will offer 24 transitional living apartments for families in need, as well as housing offices for Advantage Behavioral Health System’s Homeless Day Service Center Program, AIDS Athens, Athens Nurses Clinic and Athens Area Homeless Shelter’s financial literacy program in one location.
In addition to these services, Lifespan Montessori will also provide childcare.
Melanie Burden, the volunteer and patient services coordinator for Athens Nurses Clinic, said she is looking forward to the partnership.
“We are excited about the one- stop-shop concept,” Burden said. “We are hoping this will make it easier for our clients to get everything they need without having to make those tough choices.”
Planning for the new facility began following the closing of Athens’ U.S. Navy Supply Corps. A federal law required the transfer of surplus military property to benefit the homeless, so the University of Georgia, hoping to make use of the property, contributed $7.9 million to build the ARCH elsewhere and fund future maintenance.