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Tucker considers working with Community Service Board to support the city’s unhoused residents


Tucker considers working with Community Service Board to support the city’s unhoused residents

L to R Communications Director Sonja Szubski, Community Development Director Courtney Smith, Information Technology Director Joseph Blackwell, DeKalb Community Service Board CEO Fabio van der Merwe. Photo by Sara Amis

DeKalb County, GA — The DeKalb Community Service Board (DCSB) offered a presentation to the Tucker City Council about the DCSB’s work with unhoused residents of the county at the council’s work session on Oct. 23.

The city is considering contracting with the DCSB to provide a dedicated social worker to address the needs of Tucker residents who may be unhoused or experiencing a mental health crisis.

CEO Fabio van der Merwe said that DCSB already provides a co-respondent program to work alongside police throughout the county, providing crisis mental health intervention. However, many individuals need support beyond what an immediate responder can provide.

Shelby Roche, Director of the DeKalb Regional Crisis Center, said that the dedicated mental health case manager would be embedded in the community and would be able to find longer-term support for residents who are unhoused or experiencing a mental health crisis. 

DCSB currently provides a similar service for Doraville, Dunwoody, and Decatur. Roche said that having the caseworker in the community on a regular basis allows them to form relationships and provide more effective support and interventions.

Several council members expressed support. Council member Roger Orlando described it as an opportunity for the government to do good for its citizens.

 “I think this is an increasing problem across several communities…I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to do good.” Orlando said.

Mayor Frank Auman said that he appreciated DCSB reaching out to offer solutions that provide alternatives to arrest.

The council also approved revisions to the city’s transportation master plan and purchasing policy.

The transportation plan revision will add a connection between E Ponce de Leon Avenue and Stone Mill Way.

The purchasing policy revision will raise the self-certified micro-purchasing threshold from $10,000 to $50,000 for purchases made with Federal funds. Finance Director Beverly Hilton said that the change will bring city policy in line with Federal requirements.

The city also conducted a first read and public hearing regarding a revision to regulations governing adult entertainment establishments. 

The revision will allow adult entertainment businesses in M-2 (heavy industrial) zoning districts, while prohibiting them in M (light industrial) and C-2 (general commercial) districts. The required lot size and distance between adult businesses will be reduced.

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