John Clayton, a lobbyist, is a Board member at a Georgia homeless shelter
Online PR News – 13-August-2014 – Atlanta, GA – John Clayton, a lobbyist, understands better than most that homelessness in the United States has a devastating impact on the lives of countless Americans, and that the problem is only getting worse.
He has most of his entire professional life in politics in the State of Georgia. He is the former Chief of Staff to Terry Coleman, who served as Speaker of the House in the Georgia Legislature during its 2002 - 2003 session, quietly working behind the scenes to help bring controversial bills into during a period of political polarization in State politics. He has also served in the Georgia House Appropriations Office, and founded two public affairs agencies in Atlanta.
But John Clayton, a lobbyist, also sits on the Board of the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, which has provided temporary shelter and physical, emotional, and spiritual support to men, women, and families in Georgia's Bartow County since 1996. As he knows, a shelter like Good Neighbor cannot affect the problem of homelessness beyond its own community. And nationwide, homelessness continues to rise.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness says the ongoing squeeze on government spending will result in a steep rise in homelessness and poverty in the coming year. Nationwide, there are more than half a million people counted as homeless in the United States: an estimated 633,000, which is equivalent to a city the size of Boston.
John Clayton, a lobbyist, says that the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter is one of about eleven thousand emergency housing shelters in the state of Georgia. As he knows, the statistics about homelessness in the United States are both shocking and deeply disturbing. Of the roughly 633,000 people counted as homeless, only 65 percent were able to find emergency shelter or transitional housing programs while the rest were living in unsheltered locations. Nearly one fourth of those counted as homeless were children under the age of eighteen, ten percent were between eighteen and twenty-four, and the rest were over the age of twenty-five.
And yet John Clayton, a lobbyist, says there are signs of hope. The general public is not only well informed about the issue, but has indicated a willingness to pay higher taxes in order to help homeless people get the housing they so desperately need. Three discernible groups active in the debate – politicians, housing advocates, and social scientists – often use different study methods, adhere to different estimates on the prevalence of homelessness, and hold divergent beliefs about the causes of homelessness.
John Clayton, a lobbyist, says that while the debate over numbers and possible solutions continues, the duration of the problem may seem to defy emergency relief measures. But the work of organizations like the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter will continue, he says. The Shelter promotes awareness of the issue with its website and fundraising efforts. It has raised significant portions of its budget through various development efforts, including a dinner and auction called Our Hearts, Their Harbor, an annual 5K "Run for the Shelter," and concert events with the Etowah Jazz Society and the Big Chicken Barbershop Chorus, which also increase the organization's annual revenues, and give cause for hope that homelessness can one day be eradicated.
About: John Clayton, a lobbyist, works with a Georgia homeless shelter to end homelessness.