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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Snedden

A Message from the Executive Director. By Dr. Tammy Hughes, PhD, MSW

Greetings DeKalb County Neighbors, Partners, Stakeholders, and Friends – I am excited to share my first newsletter column as Executive Director! My hope is that you are both enlightened and encouraged!

Homelessness: A Shared Challenge, A Collective Solution

Did you know in 2023, according to HUD, 1 in 4 of the current U.S. homeless population became homeless for the very first time? This statistic underscores the strategic mindset our community must use to address both the complexity and the austerity of challenges faced by those who are unhoused or at risk of becoming unhoused.

Understanding the Dynamics:

Think of DeKalb County as a vessel – its capacity is limited by a lack of affordable housing options and constrained supportive services. When individuals experience a personal crisis or economic hardship, they can enter the system of homelessness, but the insufficiency of resources prevents an equal number of them from exiting to stable housing, causing the "vessel" to overflow.

Addressing the Challenge:

Acknowledging a one-size-fits-all strategy will not solve the problem; to address this shared challenge, I invite you to consider the thoughtful three-pronged approach outlined below. I am happy to say, the services offered by A Home For Everyone In DeKalb currently align with each prong of this approach, working to close the gaps that are pushing more people into the streets, shelters, and unstable situations where even low-income housing is becoming unaffordable. 

Three-Pronged Approach – 

Capping the Flow:

  • Early intervention: Preventative measures like assistance with rental arrearages, eviction mediation, and budgeting education.

  • Investing in affordable housing: Increasing options through added housing inventory with lower entry barriers, incentives for affordable units, and other innovative solutions to partner with landlords and property owners.

  • Addressing root causes: Tackling mental health, substance abuse, and barriers to living wage jobs using a trauma-informed approach.

Creating an Outflow:

  • Rapid rehousing: Providing immediate support with rental assistance, financial literacy, and job training for quick transitions to stable housing.

  • Transitional and affordable housing: Expanding various need-based options such as bridge housing and low-income accessible housing.

  • Strengthening support systems: Ensuring access to mental health services, addiction treatment, childcare, and other safety net programs. Cultivating Free Flow Collaboration:

  • Public-private partnerships: Combining resources and expertise across sectors.

  • Community engagement: Raising awareness, fostering a sense of shared responsibility, and mobilizing support

  • Championing solution-focused ideas: Allocating dollars and in-kind donations.

By working together, we can continue to co-create a true path to safe and affordable housing for those struggling to get out of homelessness, while at the same time preventing others from falling in!

If you are also committed to collaborative change, please visit our website at to identify where you can plug in, or email us at

Together, we can achieve A Home For Everyone In DeKalb!

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