Coalition presents plan to help families

LAWRENCEVILLE — Gwinnett human services leaders presented a plan Tuesday to combat homelessness, help people in poverty, increase the appreciation for diversity, increase literacy and health and decrease crime.

The Community Strategic Plan, a five-year framework built by leaders through the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services, includes ideas such as establishing a Veteran Military Family Resource Center, prescription drug take-back programs and a crisis line for seniors facing mental health issues.

The plan, which commissioners will consider for adoption next month, will be a part of Gwinnett Medical Center’s IRS process to maintain nonprofit status as well as helping to meet the Gwinnett Health Department’s certification requirements, said Kathy Kimbrell, a volunteer with the coalition.

“We intentionally made broad goals because we will be adding strategies and we will be adding new activities,” Kimbrell said in devising the plan created with the help of more than 600 people from the business, government and nonprofit communities. “It’s not dependent on the county’s dollars, and I think that’s important.”

The key to the plan, said Coalition Director Ellen Gerstein, is the collaboration of the various organizations in the community, which has been the key goal of the coalition since it was created 23 years ago.

“All of these organizations in the community have a lot to offer. Let’s just work together and figure out how we can have the best impact with our resources,” Gerstein said.

Leaders plan a December celebration of the plan and a January kickoff.