Our view: Forum will assess needs of Gwinnett

Few disagree that Gwinnett is experiencing its share of growing pains.

What has made those aches a bit easier to take has been a combination of foresight and planning. While all services and amenities haven't kept pace with the explosion in Gwinnett's population (transportation definitely falls into this category), others have. Our schools, parks, entertainment venues and shopping opportunities are examples of planning and execution.

Another sector that has been pro-active in meeting our growing needs is the nonprofit, charitable community.

At the forefront of our local non-profits is the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services, an organization that promotes collaboration among service agencies and is responsible for activities such as the Great Days of Service, the Gwinnett Neighborhood Leadership Institute and the Gwinnett Helpline.

For years now, GCHHS has assessed community needs and designed the blueprint for charitable organizations to follow.

With our growth in population and diversity of population, GCHHS is again testing the waters. The coalition is hosting a forum Wednesday to engage concerned residents and all community agencies in the planning process for the county's comprehensive health and human services plan.

Participants can choose between two sessions. The first will be from 8:30 a.m. until noon, and the second from 1:30 to 5 p.m. The event will take place at Building C at Georgia Gwinnett College, 1000 University Center Lane, Lawrenceville.

The coalition is calling on all community agencies to help it identify and prioritize the issues, needs and concerns in Gwinnett County. Forum planners are inviting representatives from all agencies and organizations - public and private - across all areas of Gwinnett.

All concerned residents are invited to attend. To obtain an accurate assessment of community needs, the coalition is hoping to draw from agencies that are faith-based, deal with education, law enforcement, mental health, family and children services, senior services, emergency assistance, youth, parks/recreation, ethnic/cultural organizations, public health, hospitals/community clinics, and businesses.

Register for either session at www.wellsyscorp.com/gc. For more information, call Nicole Love at 770-995-3339.

This is your chance to help shape the future of Gwinnett County. The forum's success depends on its participants. This is your chance to be heard.

SideBar: If You Go

What: Forum to assess community needs

Who: Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services

When: Wednesday. Morning (8:30 a.m. to noon) and afternoon (1:30 to 5 p.m.) sessions.

Where: Building C at Georgia Gwinnett College, 1000 University Center Lane, Lawrenceville.