Comm 4020: Public life Reporting Summer Vick

Humans of Summerville

Anna Grace Ellison, Psychology major

“God. That from his word and teaching of others and the more I learn about him the more I believe in him. The more I pray to him the more I see true and it holds true in the phases of life.

I love Isaiah 43:4 which is “Because you are precious in my eyes,and honored, and I love you,

I give men in return for you,peoples in exchange for your life.” And I just love that because I feel that I am already precious in someone's eyes, God's eyes. Mostly because I always feel that I have to work hard to get someone's approval and with God I don't have to worry about it.”

“God. That from his word and teaching of others and the more I learn about him the more I believe in him. The more I pray to him the more I see true and it holds true in the phases of life.

I love Isaiah 43:4 which is “Because you are precious in my eyes,and honored, and I love you,

Numbers Story

AUGUSTA, Ga./ Feb. 21, 2017-- The homeless problem in Augusta Georgia is a growing concern. A common place is Starbucks.

Many of the homeless live in Richmond country rather than Columbia country, according to the 2015 Georgia Community Affairs, there are roughly “200 - 499” homeless while Columbia country has a homeless range of “10 - 24”. In a comparison of the Evans store and the Wrightsboro road store, there is a dramatic difference in homeless interaction between baristas and the homeless.

Just by visiting either the Evans store or the Wrightsboro store, any person can see the difference in foot traffic around the store that draws the homeless in. Due to proximity of the mall and public transportation, it is more of a hotspot for homeless to congregate.

In an interview with Ariel Story, a new hire at the Mullings Crossing Starbucks. Story says, “ I've only been working for about a month at this store, by I've only noticed one lady” When asked if she has noticed an issue in the area Story said, “I would say that we don't have a problem. They are never outside.”

With the Mullings Crossing Starbucks not being near any public transportation there is less resources for the homeless to use. While in contrast, the Wrightsboro road Starbucks is right behind a public bus stop and across the street from the Salvation Army thrift store.

With little to no homeless being seen in the Mulling Crossing Starbucks, it a dramatic difference when it comes to Richmond Country Starbucks.

Julian Kelly, a two year barista at the Wrightsboro Road Starbucks said, “It depends on the time of year.” This would be following the needs of the homeless when seeking shelter from the weather. When asked how many homeless he saw on a weekly basis Kelly said it “two a day at average.”

Anna Warriner, a shift manager at the new Bobby Jones store location said “I haven't seen anyone since we have opened.” However Warriner was a manager at the Dunkin Doughnuts on Washington Road before she came to Starbucks and said that, “we had a relatively large problem with panhandlers.”

“When a customer comes in frequently with the same clothes on time after time” said Kelly when asked how he was able to spot how many homeless come into the Wrightsboro store.

Location is the biggest factor that comes into play when homeless congregate in a certain location. The difference in the homeless problem in each county can be seen by all residents of the CSRA. Starbucks provides a nice place for homeless to spend their day at, however it does not solve any solutions on the problem at hand.

Profile Story

Most janitors would rather sit and just clean rather than actually talking to the students around them. However Tia Burns, the supervisor at Allgood Hall at Augusta University feels very different about that.

“I'm really a people person” said Burns when asked why she's been at Augusta University for the past six years as a janitorial supervisor.

“I'm always talking to someone in the hallway or seeing a student” said Burns when asked one thing that she absolutely loves about her job and why she hasn't left.

Burns currently has six children in varying age groups and she loves all of them. She said “that family is the most important thing in her life” and then she recollect about the most important person to her, her grandmother.

“Me and my grandmother used to go get lunch at least once a week and we will just sit and talk about the good old days” said Burns.

Another thing that has been very prominent in this person's life is that she had a proper training at her job from her late boss who passed in September.

“She is a trained as to the T and with her training they made us able to rise up and be promoted and in our job” said Burns.

Over all her love the people family and her prominent attitude towards school is what makes Tia Burns a great janitorial supervisor at Augusta University.

Homelessness in Augusta

What helps heal a wound better, putting a band-aid on a cut or teaching the person to not hold the blade in their hand? By teaching others and educating them on how to make the correct decisions, can drastically change a person's life.

The stigma around homelessness is that these people put themselves in these situation. They put themself in the deb that led them to homelessness, they got themselves into drugs, they did this to themselves and this is the stigma that comes with homelessness.

In the most proactive homeless outreach services in Augusta, Family Promise of Augusta. In an interview with Latoya Hardman, the director of Family Promise of Augusta. In her interview she talks about how “we give them life skill classes such as budgeting and our whole focus in these 90 days is to help them become self sufficient” and how this practice long term solutions have a turnaround success of 90 days. She also talks about how the problem she can see directly starts in high school.

She spoke about “my mom taught me how to budget a check book, how to write check, like what does this mean? Lets teach that in school because when you get out of highschool and you are on your own and go to collage or whatever the case may be. That's when credit card debt starts racking up.”

The real problem isn't the people who fall into these situations, it is what lead to this situation. Homeless isn't something a person can catch like a disease, it's something that is preventable with proper education.

This education starts not only in the home, but it starts in school. Currently in Richmond County high school there is a half credit requirement for economics in order to graduate. As outlined in in this attached PDF (. However the class is taught on Georgia Performance Standards which outlines the bare minimum of what a class has to empossas in a school year. In this document which shows that there is a section for personal finance initiatives, however out of the six outlined minimums, there are only two that will directly influence students in how they might handle money.

That sets up the majority of the population that attend these high schools for monetary issues when they get out of high school. There also no requirements for drug education and or prevention in any pubic richmond country school. When doing research, there are also no clubs in any schools for drug prevention/education and there is one page on the Richmond County School System's website to deal with “drug prevention”.

Alana Gould is a senior at the Academy of Richmond County who is graduating in May of 2017. When interviewed she spoke over a student's perception of drug education or prevention at Academy of Richmond County “In my four years at being at Richmond Academy, I have never seen any drug education or clubs for it.”

Gould also believes that there is no drug education because, “Columbia county schools have better funding for everything” which is why their are no programs in Gould’s school.

Now from the other side of the desk, comes a point of view from a teacher. Jonathan Waters is a former Grovetown High School english teacher. A teacher who is from a country that lack the amount homeless than Richmond Country.

Waters spoke that Grovetown High school, “ didn't have any active drug education prevention, but they did have anonymous surveys.” The issue that arises from this is that homelessness is a problem that needs to be a long term solution, rather than just a quick fix.

This is not to say that quick fixes, such as a blanket or clothing drive are not things that are helping the homeless population, but it does not help eliminate the problem.

By looking at what proactive programs exist around Augusta that focus on the short term solutions. They are more widely known, and more people are willing to donate and help in some faucet to the homeless.

The Salvation Army is a widely known organization that helps out with giving donations that help the homeless in a short term way. In an interview with Laura Jones who is the production director of the Salvation Army family store in Augusta.

She spoke about how they “have coat drives and a Christmas giveaway”. She has personally seen how the programs have greatly affected the amount of homelessness in Augusta.

Overall, there are many hurdles that come to dealing with the homeless population in Augusta. The short term solutions are great, and they do help, but overall the root of the problem exist in the education of the youth over money and drugs, the two leading factors that lead to homelessness in Augusta.

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