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Community Needs Assessment-Homelessness in Georgia


Housing for homeless is a social issue that has impended the US economy as tax money goes to temporary shelter, food, medical, and food for the “victims.” Research indicated that the government spends approximately $15 billion yearly to help support the issue of homelessness (Cassaday, 2022). However, this remains an unmet need in the Georgia community, with people and families trying to find safe and stable accommodation. Challenges resulting from this include increased crimes and safety concerns,
 economic impact (decreased patronage due to safety issues), and strained resources (specifically on healthcare facilities). Homeless individuals have experienced victimization and trauma. Despite efforts made by the government, like implementing the “Reducing Street Homelessness Act of 2022,” which singles out funds for rental assistance for homeless individuals, the issue persists. Thus, an identified potential program to mitigate the above social problem include diversification of a “Housing First program.” This would be made possible via the integration of community needs assessment. This paper investigates homelessness in Georgia, proposes a community needs assessment plan, and projects the results using a logic model.


Georgia as a whole has a more significant percentage of homeless individuals. According to Hirschauer (2023), it ranks 29th among all states in homeless residents per capita, and as of 2020, homelessness has spiked about 4% statewide. Federal data have indicated that Georgia has approximately 10,000 homeless individuals (Grapevine, 2022). Homelessness has presented a wide range of issues in the Georgia community. First, there have been increased crimes and safety issues, including rape, assault, and attempted robbery. This is evident in cases where individuals like Troy Rogers III, believed to be homeless, were arrested in March 2023 for a home invasion and raping the homeowner (Hall, 2023). A similar scenario occurred in Swift-Central Park, where a 33-year-old homeless man (Austin Stovall) kidnapped and raped a young girl inside a bathroom in Georgia on Mother’s Day (Miller, 2022). These issues have led to a sense of unease within the Georgia community. Also, businesspeople experienced low patronage due to the increased number of homeless people sleeping outside the business.

The increased demand from the homeless population has strained resources, notably healthcare services. Homeless individuals are more prone than the average population to suffer from chronic physical ailments, mental health disorders, and substance misuse. The severe living conditions, lack of regular healthcare, and limited resources available to homeless people have frequently exacerbated these health issues. As a result, homeless people commonly require medical attention, such as emergency care, chronic sickness treatment, mental health assistance, and substance abuse therapy. The rising demand for these services has strained Georgia’s healthcare institutions, Curtis V Cooper and J.C. Lewis Primary Health Center which provides free or affordable healthcare to the vulnerable population, and healthcare practitioners that provides free services in many cases. Homeless individuals, particularly the LGBT++, have faced victimization, trauma, and stereotyping. Despite government attempts, such as the enactment of the above Act, which distributes cash for rental assistance, the issue of homelessness remains unaddressed.

Community needs assessment 

The following community needs assessment would be adopted to help determine potential programming to address homelessness. 

Step 1: Plan for a community needs assessment 

A diverse community team of government officials, nonprofit organizations, service providers, community leaders, and homeless individuals will be assembled through outreach, collaboration, and personal invitations to address homelessness in Georgia. The group will deploy a “Collaborative Assessment Strategy,” which outlines goals, responsibilities, and a timetable. This clearly shows information gathering, analysis, and decision-making procedures, promoting efficient teamwork, coordination, and accountability. This allows the team to assess the whole community of Chatham, effectively comprehending the unique issues experienced by homeless people. Some key community sectors that would be assessed include housing and shelter, healthcare and support services, employment and income, education and youth services, and community safety and crime. This is essential, as it would help identify service gaps and create comprehensive plans that serve the diverse needs of homeless people while fostering their general well-being and social integration.

In order to assess the community components, some of the questionnaires under the components are as follows;

1. What primary obstacles must the homeless people in Chatham County overcome to find affordable housing?

2. How long does it typically take to get into housing aid programs?

3. What are the most essential healthcare requirements for Georgia’s homeless population?

4. What are the primary challenges faced by homeless people during the job hunt?

5. What percentages of homeless youth are enrolled in Georgia’s various school districts, specifically Chatham?

6. Are there any particular crimes affecting homeless people that call for targeted intervention?

7. Which current crime prevention techniques have successfully addressed safety issues relating to homelessness?

Based on the geographic distribution and population density of homelessness in Chatham County, the team will select various locations (such as Georgia homeless shelters, clinics, and schools) to depict the whole community. The team will engage with experts (like government officials, leaders, and service providers) to get their perspectives on homelessness in Georgia, as well as best practices and successful tactics.

Step 2: Conduct the needs assessment

The team will assess homelessness through surveys, interviews, focus groups, and observations. While focus groups, interviews, and observations from key informants and past data provide qualitative insights, surveys collect quantitative data.

Step 3: Review and Rate the data

The following rating scale will offer a quantitative and qualitative framework for ranking the needs and difficulties that have been identified, directing the creation of the community action plan, and effectively allocating resources to solve the most pressing issues relating to homelessness in Georgia. 

The rating scale below ranges from 1 – 5, with 1 representing very low impact, 2 -low impact, 3 – medium impact, 4 – high impact, and 5 -very high impact.

Figure 1: Rating scale

Data visualization techniques may be used to portray the data in a relevant and accessible fashion, allowing for a thorough understanding of the assessment results.

Step 4: Record and review consolidated data

The team will accurately enter the acquired data into a digital system such as Microsoft Azure. The data will then be analyzed, summarized, and presented using statistical methods and a data visualization platform like Tableau to show significant results and patterns to help understand assessment outcomes. According to Feist (2019), this provides critical findings and patterns, allowing for a thorough understanding of the assessment results.

Step 5: Develop a community action plan

Based on data and recognized needs, the team will prioritize and implement effective strategies to solve the challenges. By leveraging community assets, the plan will include precise actions, responsibilities, dates, and resource allocation. Progress and accountability will be ensured through monitoring and assessment. As such, the following action plan will be employed in the process.

Key findings



Volunteer involvement

Indicators of success

Lack of affordable housing options

Encourage more financing and resources for affordable housing initiatives.

September 2023 – November 2023

Collaborate with housing authorities and developers.

Increase in the number of affordable housing units available

Mental health & substance abuse

Create comprehensive case management services to address mental health and substance abuse issues.

October – December 2023

Volunteers with experience in mental health services should be recruited and trained.

Increased availability for homeless people to mental health and drug abuse treatment

Inadequate access to healthcare services

Provide homeless-specific healthcare services.

November – December 2023

Collaborate with local healthcare providers and organizations.

Improvements in healthcare outcomes and increasing use of healthcare services by homeless people

Stereotyping LGBTQ++ community

Create safe spaces and support networks for the LGBT++ community’s homeless members.

January – February 2024

Collaboration with LGBT+ groups and advocates

Increased sense of safety and well-being among LGBT++ homeless people

Inadequate employment opportunities

Provide programs for job training, employment support, and financial literacy.

March – April 2024

Engage with local employers and companies.

Increased employment rates and financial stability for homeless people

How the community needs assessment addresses accessibility and cultural sensitivity 

The community needs assessment promotes accessibility and cultural sensitivity helping alleviate homelessness and promote diversity. The model engages various communities and collects comprehensive data using focused outreach techniques, interpreters, translators, and culturally relevant questionnaires. Collaboration with government officials, organizations, service providers, and community leaders ensures that diverse viewpoints are considered. The assessment addresses the unique needs of many homeless communities, including the LGBT++ community, and promotes the construction of safe spaces and support networks. The evaluation fosters accessibility, cultural sensitivity, and collaboration throughout the process by actively incorporating various communities, recognizing special requirements, and encouraging inclusivity.

Logic model

Figure 2: Logic model


The unmet social issue in the Chatham County community revolves around housing for homeless in Georgia. Thus, to alleviate the issue, implementing a holistic approach that includes a community needs assessment is crucial. Some identified hurdles exhibited by the issue include safety concerns and limited work possibilities that demand targeted actions. The mitigation approach’s short-term outcomes include lower rates of homelessness, higher housing stability, improved mental health, increased healthcare utilization, and more robust support for the LGBTQ++ community. Long-term effects include a sustained reduction in homelessness, greater well-being, economic stability, and reduced burden. The needs assessment assures accessibility and cultural sensitivity through targeted outreach, interpreters, and pertinent surveys.


Cassaday, K. (2022). WHY IS HOMELESSNESS A SOCIAL PROBLEM? Available:,are%20needed%20to%20support%20them.

Feist, J., Grieco, G., & Groce, A. (2019, May). Slither: a static analysis framework for smart contracts. In 
2019 IEEE/ACM 2nd International Workshop on Emerging Trends in Software Engineering for Blockchain (WETSEB) (pp. 8-15). IEEE.

Grapevine, R. (2022). Homelessness a problem in rural Georgia.Available:

Hall, M. (2023). Homeless man accused of rape indicted on other charges. Available:

Hirschauer, J. (2023). Georgia Shows the Way on Homelessness. Available:

Miller, J. (2022). Georgia homeless man raped girl in bathroom on Mother’s Day, cops say. Available:

Human Services | Savannah, GA – Official Website (

Compensatory Programs McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act. (n.d.).



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