Box 7, Folder 22, Document 4

Dublin Core


Box 7, Folder 22, Document 4

Text Item Type Metadata


¢ Cormrmusiity

of the
Atianta Area inc.


_ } a February 15, 1967


Mr. Boisfeuillet Jones, President |
Enily and Ernest Woodzuff Foundation
230 Peachtreo Street, N. WV.

Atlanta, Georgi. 29303

Dear Bo:

You ead I talked recently about the Community Council, where it
has been, where it is soing and what it neods. The Council needs
your help now, not to fulfill original wojectives (which it has done
in some reasure) but to fit a new role in the conplex and growing
society which is Atlanta today.

When. establisied in 1960, the Council was given a grant of
$50,007 a year for fives years by your Foundation, The Community
Chest catched this sum. The goals wore - :

“ to Zind solutions to the provlens of pove-cy

~- to coordinate public and private social uo_...cies
“ ~ to elininate unproductive agencies through norger

- to provide tho Community Chost with a dacision-

paking capacity for its fund allocation problems,
At its inception, the Council was looked upon as a 2

social planning and coordinating force for an area that lacked any
effective organization of its kind. I remember Couscil Soa
bers making speeches at civic clubs, promising all.thinys to all
people even before it had a professional executive or ics had a
chance to truly measure the dimensions of the job. Scaai Skoucht of
social planning as a study of a single social ageacy. Others saw
it as a detailed guide for allocating social welfare programs for a
ten-year period.
Mr. Boisfculllot Jones
February 15, 1957 |

Although effectiva ina nuxber of areas, the Council spent a
good part of the first five years searching for a grip oa social
planning and problems that kept shifting and growing. Since 1960,
the Council has mot a nuuber of tha founders’ objectives. Others
- 4t can moot within the noxt five yoars. Still othors may require
difZeront approaches fron originally envisioncd.

‘Let's look at the record. 5 -

On the score of tho problems of povorty, the Council:

te Experincnted with now ways of delivering sor vices
to the poor in West ond, particularly those
which would Gelp break the cycle of dependency

- Took the lead in planning Econcnie Opportunity
Atlanta, Inc.

= Supplied tho social Zact - finding and planning
aspects of Atlanta's Ccnnunity Inprovenent
Progran, on the basis o2 Which it now is
helping Atlanta apply for funds under the
new liodel Cities denonstration progran

- Hos established an information and referral =e
- service to help people find agency assistance

= Planned the training prozram for EOA aides and
is now operating a training program for volun-
teers willing to serve in low-income areas

~- Was materially involvad in other efforts such as
& work cyvaluction center, jod davolopcent for
and placement of older workers, a comunity
school prozran, developaent of low-cost housing,
lending to businesses in poverty areas and many

In the area of coordinating public and private social agencies,
the Council's efforts have been effective in some cases but failure
in others. The Permanent Conference has beea a primary vehicle for
the Council in the fields of health, recreation and welfare. Sena
of the achiovements have been -

Lir. BoisZcuillet Jones
February 15, 1£57 , 3.


~ Establishment of a $225,000 Hospital and Health
, Planning unit 23 a regular Comecil activity

. = Spade work for a comprehensive mental health
; progres) for Atlanta

= Assistance to tho Mayor's Commission in its
organization to combat Crime and Juvenlie
Delinquency .

~ Assistance in setting up Euory's Comittee
on Chronic Alcoholisn

On elimination of unproductive. agencies throuch merger, the

Council's score is low for reasons outlined later in this lotter.

It was involved in the merger of agencies serving the blind aad
did devise a way to coordinate services for the eldorly (Senior

* Citizen Services of Metropolitan Atlanta). Also, the Council's

broad role has resulted in a number of agencies asking for consul-
tation about their fields to avoid or to recomine duplications.

A nusaber o2 proposed agencies were investigated by the Council, some
of which never got organized when the promoters saw they would be
involving themselves in Zields which were adequately covered.

On tho score of roviding the Community Chest with decision-
maokine capacity for fund allocation problems, the Council has not
yet done the job. A major difficulty here has been that some
persons tend to oversimplify tha task, expecting the Council can do
& conscientious, good job with a stazf that is woefully inadequato
in nimbder and background information. The consmunity as a waole needs
more invoxruation on the basis of which to make better decisions than
it has in the social field, ae

A start was zade with the Council's "Background for Decision
Making," a delineation of major social welfare programs in Atlanta
used by the Comaunity Caest Budget Comaitteo. The Chest also has
had in nand for some tine a Council proposal for an in-depth study
of recreation in Atlanta as the first of a conprehensive series of
studies in the social wolfare and recreation areas. Still, this is
the area where the Council can be faulted most by Council Zounders

-and particularly Chest mexbers who Cesperately want decision-making

he eee



Mr. Boisfeuillet Jones | os
February 15, 1957. aS : a . Ae

help. With perspective gained from six years with the Council, I
feel the Council can and nust help the community nake better decisions
but only under differont conditions from those in waich the Council

has been operating.

Today, the Council's role is a changed one. It should bo

looked to for some of the same things envisioned by the founders.
thers should be sought elsewvhorg, Still others which can emanate
froa the Council may have beea only dimly envisioned seven years ago.

This change in role is the product of chances in Atlanta, in society
and in the experience of those of us who have grappled with tha Coun

cii's mission since the beginning.

As backcround for understanding the Council's new role, let ne
cite sono opinions.

Tho Federal Government today is pouring mousy into the social
wolfare field. Though checked some recently by Conzress, this trend -
ean be expected to continus. To justify this shower of money, Federal
agencies must insist on plans against which results nay be evaluated.
In most coxmunities, there are no effective local planainz units,
encouraging Fedoral agencies to do thoir own planning rather than rely~
ing on local zroups. Even if there wore efZective local planning unita,
each agency must do some of its own planning or be derelict.

If Atlanta's own citisens are to have a real voice in hov this


Federal money is to be spcnt in their own commumity, they need effective
mediums Zor wxpression. Our elected representatives are one mediun,
The Council can be another—one throuzh waich Adlanta leaders can dis-
cover the social facts about their community ant have a say cs to the
type of programs they will or will not supzort. In some senso, the
Council has played this role but not to the deprea that it can or should.
The Council, then, must first be a source of information. Its .
Social Research Center is the key to any other effectiveness the Council
may have. It must build up a bank of timely and reliable information,
as well as techniques for ceotting other inforzation quickly when neoded,
This sort of community resource is vital to federal, state and local
governments, to public and private agencies, to foundations and to an

* informed public. Part of the jod here is not waly gathering the infor

mation but disseminating it in useful Zorm, a job which the Council has
not done adequately up to this time.
.facts of a probdlen, such as it now does throuck

Mr. Boisfeulllot Jones ' ;
February 15, 1967 | ; 5,

Second, the Council must be the vehicle throuch which Atlanta

eitizens can begin to do their own comunity planning. A major and
difficult task ahead is what some describe as developing o conspectus

of Atlanta's social welfare needs, an overview or a sketch sinilar to
that produced by physical planning groups. Without it, the city may
continue to ameliorate symptoms, mistaking thea for causes of some of
our most pressing needs. Thus the Council beesmes not only the
planner'’s planner but a planning organization in its own right. It
can and must abate a common misconception that planning a progran
for an individual agency is comprehensive social planning

Third, the Council must take the initiative in seeing that plans
are discussed and implemented. Since it is not a funding body, it
must be able to speak with a voice that is respected by those who
dispense funds to public and private agencies s ins our comunity.
It must use the technicue of exposing egencies and others to tho
the Permanent Confer-
ence 2nd as it intends to do with businessmen on the subject of

Anc finally, it must be a consultive, evaluation and pro ran
development source for agencics and others. Ii is this last servico
which many in the community socom to want nest from the Council and
which, uncer its present organization a fucding, it is least capable
of doings without divertinz stafi from the first three. nd without
the first three jobs under coatrol,-. the Council is not capable of
doing the kind of work which the comnumity shouid demand of it.

Today, the Council is underfunded to do its basic jobs—Zact-
finding, fact dissemination and planning. We have estimated t they
would require about $200,009 a year invested in a core staii primarily.
devoted to thoss purpeses. LEaving a core stazz, the Council then
would be in position to teke on the job of consulting, evaluation and
program development for fees which vould pay for the eit start
requirod and attendant overhead. The sta2f, wmder this arrangenent,
would be large enough to give the Council flexibility. It now does
not have this mancuverability when it must divert someone fron a
basic job to do 4 special jod Which may or may tot be consistent wit
the cors job. We have had to do more and more of these special ska
because they have given the Council a means of contracting for work
which in turn hes meant income needed just to keep the core staff
together. This vicious circle in tho long run will lead to the
destruction of the Council as an effective agency.
Mr. BoisZoulllet Jones
February 15, 1987 3 6.

Right now, the Council needs rolie? fron chasing special
agsionucnts that produce income. It needs to have at least two
yearso—preferably throe—during which it can

~ Got the core job well underway without
diverting personnel to other work


"~ Broaden financial support from Chest and local
G0vernnent sources for its core work

“ Add staff and capacity to take on the special
jobs which so uany agencies and porsons want
the Council to do now, but only add people
as the level of funded work would justify

-~ Build a much stronger base of understanding
and support through the involvement of a
more varied and intorested Bearéi of Directors.

~ a
These directors whea oereente to serve nust
agree to take on active assiznzents a3 well

as set policy

- Involve younser persons fron all parta of the
community in Council work, ecesy serving
as a source of future Council directors.

Bo, wa need the help of you and your Foundation now. We need
your advice, assistance, influence and we need monsy which I don't
6ee coming from any other source in the community with the speed or
in the quantity needed if the Council is goings to go forward fron
its preseat plateau, .

Because of my involyeront in Jamaica, I'm asking Duane to get
with you at the earliest opportunity to settle on what you think
should be our next step in working out those thinzs which the Council
needs so very much now.

Best eserds ,


“Gab P. Furniss

P, S. Am sending a copy of this ‘
to Billy Sterne who has azreed
to help on the nominations to the

Council Board this year.


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