Wed., February 5, 2014 2:12pm (EST)

Bibb Social Service Leaders Take Inventory
By Leah Fleming
Updated: 2 months ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Bibb County nonprofit and church leaders meet to collect data to better serve residents (photo: L. Fleming for GPB)
Bibb County nonprofit and church leaders meet to collect data to better serve residents (photo: L. Fleming for GPB)
A Macon organization brought local social service groups together Wednesday. The goal: find out about the programs they offer and how they can work together to better serve the residents of Macon- Bibb.

In Bibb County there are nearly 100 organizations that offer social services, including churches and nonprofits. They’ve been hiding in plain sight, so-to-speak.

But at a gathering of local churches and schools, organized by the Peyton Anderson Foundation, some representatives from one group knew nothing about the other- a situation bound to duplicate some services while other needs go unmet.

The foundation’s effort is similar to programs in other states. Last summer in Philadelphia, nonprofits in the area created a program called Shared Prosperity. The program is “one stop shopping” outreach centers in the area to help people get assistance with food, housing, job training, and financial counseling all in one place.

Karen Lambert is president of the Peyton Anderson Foundation. She says the first step to better deliver services to those in need is to take inventory of what they already have.

"There are more than 200 agencies that address poverty in our community and that’s a huge number," said Lambert.

Chris Allers, executive vice president of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, facilitated Wednesday's meeting among 60 participants.

"By studying and providing real market data to these organizations, they will then be able to make strategic business decisions and seek out areas for collaboration based on hard facts, not just conjecture,” said Allers.