Atlanta is one of five cities getting help with ongoing homelessness and panhandling problems. New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, and Bloomberg Philanthropies plan to assist Atlanta by giving one point four million dollars annually, to fund an Innovation Delivery Team to generate innovative solutions, develop implementation plans, and manage progress towards defined targets.
The Innovation Delivery Team will focus on two priority issues: reducing homelessness and panhandling in the city and a 311 initiative aimed at improving customer service for citizens. Mayor Reed says he’s grateful for Bloomberg’s generosity.
“At the moment, there is no single point of entry to access government services,” said Duriya Farooqui, City of Atlanta’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer. “Instead of citizens trying to figure it out, they can call a single number to get quick answers and an efficient response. A 311 approach combined with a strong focus on improving response times will be transformative for how we respond to citizens and deliver city services.”
The Innovation Delivery Team grants are the first made through the Mayors Project, the new government innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies. The Mayors Project has two goals: increase innovation capacity within municipal government and disseminate effective programs and policies across cities. Additional investments will be made through the Mayors Project over the coming year.
The Innovation Delivery Team model draws from successful approaches that have been utilized worldwide. In New York City, for example, Mayor Bloomberg established teams to develop and implement bold anti-poverty, sustainability, and efficiency agendas. Similarly, Former Prime Minister Tony Blair formed the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit to achieve impact in transportation, education, health, and criminal justice.
The other cities awarded the grant include: Chicago, Louisville, Memphis, and New Orleans. In Memphis and Louisville, the teams will implement new job-growth strategies. In Chicago and New Orleans, the teams will cut waiting and processing times for key city services.