Largo is officially putting its support behind a new, streamlined group to help the homeless.
The Largo City Commission unanimously voted Tuesday to participate in the Homeless Leadership Board, Inc. (HLB), a new organization that will be the policy and leadership group for Pinellas County when it comes to homeless issues.
This new system will combine two existing organizations—the Homeless Leadership Network and the Pinellas County Coalition for the Homeless—and make it more effective and accountable. The HLB will be performance driven in moving people into permanent housing.
Effective Feb. 1, the Homeless Leadership Board will coordinate various institutions working to address the problem in Largo and Pinellas County. The HLB will include the public, non-profit and private sector entities to help families, individuals, unaccompanied youth, as well as those at-risk of homelessness.
Mayor Patricia Gerard proposed the agreement to the board during the City Commission meeting Tuesday night.
"A lot is happening in the Pinellas homeless community," Gerard said. "What we will have is more cooperation with county offices."
The biggest change with the establishment of the Homeless Leadership Board is that Largo will now report to only one representative as opposed to two. This will streamline the process of getting help for the homeless, in addition to working towards a solution to the problem.
"Unfortunately, the homeless community has grown because of the economy," said Vice-Mayor Harriet Crozier. "I'm real proud that Largo is a part of this, and want to continue working and assisting with this program"
For more information about the new Homless Leadership Baord, visit PinellasHomeless.org.