There are far too many cities and towns struggling with homelessness, with no easy answers on how to fix the problem. It is a growing crisis largely being ignored by local municipalities and government as a whole.
As an example, in the state of Georgia, the Department of Housing and Urban Development reports that well over 10,000 people find themselves in a homeless situation.
Jacque Hawk, and his son Erin, decided it was time to do something about the growing homeless situation in their own community of Augusta-Richmond County, Georgia, where hundreds of people are living on the streets without any kind of assistance or emergency shelter.
“Many of them are suffering from mental or physical illnesses, and they are hungry, scared, hurting and alone,” said Hawk.
It was the fall of 2016, when Erin suggested to his father that they help the homeless in the community. By walking the streets and visiting these people they could not only see their pain, but feel their pain. They decided to do something about it.
They started a social media campaign to put the word out that they needed supplies for these folks. Jacque says, “We started collecting clothes and winter blankets and toiletries, whatever the homeless needed and handing them out.”
However as soon as they were seeing success, it all came to a screeching halt as city officials were taking the same items that they were busy delivering to folks – and they were throwing their life-necessities in the trash.
Jacque was outraged!
But not without the means to strike back. And so he did.
You see, Jacque Hawk is an attorney in the community. He knows a thing or two about litigation. So using his experience he threatened to sue the City and Sheriff’s department, and anyone else who messed with his plan to help the homeless.
Jacque asked each one of the homeless to help him so he can in turn help them. “I gave the homeless notepads and pens and said, you write their car numbers, their badges, you write their names, and you give it all to me,”
“And I put it all over Facebook, on my website; and then I get a call from Chief Patrick Clayton of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office – can we talk about this?”
What happens next will surprise you.
The story continues on the Brink of Greatness Podcast…
The Next Leap Forward
Together they have formed the Augusta Homeless Initiative, which is a task force that consists of several individuals from Augusta’s Housing and Community Development Department, The Salvation Army, United Way, Family Promise of Augusta and several other local organizations.
The goal is to create a long term Transition Center to assist many of these folks to get on their feet and to secure a job, “A transition center is somewhere that the homeless can get basic fundamental health care,” Hawk said. “It is somewhere they can take a shower. Somewhere they can go to get out of the weather and somewhere they can lay their heads at night.”
Just think of the impact this man and his son have made and continue to make in the lives of these people. Jacque Hawk is a Brink Thinker with an incredible heart and the passion and commitment to put action in the place of empty words and promises.