ARPA Homelessness Advisory Committee


The ARPA Homelessness Advisory Committee has been charged with creating a community-wide five-year strategic plan to address homelessness, to reduce and prevent homelessness in ACC, and to strengthen the mental health and social support systems for unhoused residents. In addition, the advisory group is tasked with providing specific guidance on how ACCGov can aid in transitioning unhoused residents to permanent housing including supportive housing.

Members of the Athens Homeless Coalition were directed to serve in this role by Mayor and Commission as part of the Commission Defined Option designating the use of American Rescue Plan Funds, approved in March 2022. 

ACCGov contracted with the Cloudburst Group to develop the Strategic Plan to Reduce and Prevent Homelessness. As part of this process Cloudburst scheduled a series of meetings with the advisory committee to understand the committee's goals, present data analysis, and present draft high-impact strategies. The final draft of the Strategic Plan to Reduce and Prevent Homelessness was released in September 2023. Following a public comment period, Mayor and Commission voted to approve the plan during their October 3, 2023 meeting.

Committee Members

  • Danielle Bonano, Acceptance Recovery Center
  • Lucy Hudgens, The Ark Executive Director
  • Jason Leonard, Homeless Coalition Board Member and Athens Downtown Development Authority
  • Julianne Geddis, Athens Area Homeless Shelter Director of Programs
  • John Morris, Advantage Behavioral Health Systems
  • Michael Bien, Homeless Coalition Board Member
  • Ryan Hersch, Bigger Vision of Athens Executive Director
  • Tershant Smith, Athens Alliance Coalition First Step Project Director
  • Tangela Ferguson, Project Safe Associate Director
  • Shea Post, Athens Area Homeless Shelter Executive Director
  • Madison Sanders, Family Promise of Athens Executive Director
  • Paige Cummings, Athens Nurses Clinic Executive Director
  • James Scott, Sparrow's Nest Executive Director
  • Haley Palmer, Georgia Council for Recovery
  • Catherine Gurak, St. Mary's Health Care System Community Health and Wellbeing Coordinator
  • Dee Burkett, Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center VP of Patient Services