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Lexington mayor names director of homelessness office

Charlie Lanter will begin in May

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2014) — Mayor Jim Gray last week named Charlie Lanter the city’s first director of the newly created Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention.

“Homelessness is a complex issue with no cookie-cutter solutions,” Gray said. “It requires meaningful collaboration and creative problem-solving. Charlie’s unique combination of skills is perfect for the task at hand. Charlie is well-respected by his peers, was mentored by Jack Burch and will be able to get the right people to the table to make sure Lexington is a community where homelessness is rare and short-lived.”

Lanter will focus on helping Lexington improve efforts to effectively address homelessness through increased coordination, innovation and data-driven decision making, Gray said. “Lexington has many amazing service providers and community partners helping people who are experiencing homelessness or are on the verge of becoming homeless. We have made great strides over the years, but we can do better.”

Lanter said, “This is a big step toward ensuring a more livable city for the most vulnerable of our citizens and I am honored and humbled to lead the new office. I look forward to working side by side with our citizens, stakeholders, and people experiencing homelessness to ensure everyone is able to thrive and productively enjoy our community.”

The creation of the office was a recommendation made by the Mayor’s Commission on Homelessness in 2013.

Recently, the council endorsed the mayor’s plan to set aside $500,000 of surplus dollars for a homelessness fund plus $3 million for affordable housing. In addition to being responsible for the community coordination of recommendations included in the commission’s report, Lanter will administer the $500,000 fund and will also be involved in efforts to create affordable housing — a critical component of preventing homelessness.

A top priority for the office will be working with community partners to develop a Housing First Program, which will specifically target chronically homeless individuals with mental or physical health challenges. Other priorities include improving the Homelessness Information Management System, which is a federal Department of Housing and Urban Development database utilized by area service providers, and to develop public-private partnerships to diversify funding sources and program effectiveness.

Lanter has served as the Director of Planning, Communications and Advancement for the Community Action Council since 2007.  He joined Community Action in 2005 and was promoted twice within two years. While with Community Action, Lanter successfully secured more than $14 million in grant funding, was responsible for the development and implementation of the agency’s strategic plan and designed numerous programs in collaboration with community partners, including the private sector.

Originally from Lexington, Lanter is a graduate of Tates Creek High School and Western Kentucky University with a double major in print journalism and government. He will begin his work with the city this May.

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