Gwinnett County opens its first homeless shelter, providing help for women and their children

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LAWRENCEVILLE, GA– Gwinnett County has opened a shelter for homeless women and their children, offering them a new lease on life.

The first – and currently only –shelter in Gwinnett officially opened on Tuesday, Aug. 17. HomeFirst Gwinnett: The Resting Spot will cater to women, moms and their children.

HomeFirst Gwinnett is a collaborative initiative between the county, United Way of Greater Atlanta and Primerica Foundation.

“Homelessness is a complex and tragic problem. Gwinnett County is fortunate to have a partner like HomeFirst Gwinnett on the frontlines addressing this issue,” said Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson. “In our county, and often out-of-sight, there are an estimated 8,000 to 10,0000 people experiencing homelessness. Using a holistic approach, the shelter will provide a stable place to stay and connect people experiencing homelessness with the resources and services they need to get back on their feet.”

In 2017, the average age of a homeless person in Gwinnett was just six years old, according to county officials. The pandemic compounded many issues contributing to homelessness and housing insecurity. The Resting Spot, officials said, will connect residents with a stable place to stay and provide resources and services to help the residents get back on their feet.

“I grew up in Gwinnett in County, so this project took on a very personal meaning to me, very quickly,” said HomeFirst Executive Director Matt Elder. “I know what the ‘Gwinnett Standard’ means inherently. I know it means we must push boundaries, and it means we have to do something different and new. It’s about bringing the community together.”

At full capacity, the shelter will have a total of 20 beds. Women will be able to stay up to 90 days and receive dedicated case management and future, housing assistance. Due to COVID-19 precautions, capacity is limited to two families and four single female adults. The facility is located in ZIP code 30083 in an undisclosed location.

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