On Tuesday, Sept. 27, a group of Guilford County commissioners met with Greensboro and High Point City Council members in the first ever meeting of the Guilford County Task Force On Homelessness. Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston said he was strongly encouraged by the commitment expressed by all parties to take on the problem of homelessness in Guilford County in a wholistic and unified way.

Top staff members from the cities and the county were there as well.

The meeting was not a public meeting.

Alston formed the task force with lightning speed after a meeting about a week earlier when he came to believe that too many groups are going off in opposing directions in their attempt to solve the problem that’s become huge in Guilford County in recent years.

“The only thing I wanted to know at this meeting was: Do we have buy-in from everyone to work together in a holistic way to address the problem?”

Alston said the answer to that question was a resounding yes, and now the task force will hold another meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 19 when staff will bring ideas to the task force regarding what’s working in other places as well as new strategies for the county and cities to use collectively to attack the problem.

Alston said the new task force on homelessness will also work closely with 30 to 35 community groups that cover related issues like mental health problems and drug addiction. He said he wants to include the mayors of the county’s small towns as well – even though the problem isn’t as prevalent in those towns as it is in Greensboro and High Point.

“We will be working together as ‘one Guilford’,” Alston said, repeating a two-word theme he has repeated in regard to many matters in recent years.