Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has been invited to ring the NASDAQ bell at 4pm on a trip to secure $1.4 million annually from New York Mayor's Bloomberg Philanthropies, hoping to follow Bloomberg's footsteps to initiate a government customer service help center and lower homelessness in the city.
Atlanta plans to implement a 311 call center, similar to that of New York City introduced in 2003, to eliminate 911 call bottlenecks. New York City's 311 government customer-service helpline has received 120 million calls since its establishment. The 311 call center will divert non-urgent calls from the 911 emergency hotline, which has been known to be too busy. This service will be a central hub for finding connections to other government services. Duriya Farooqui, Atlanta's deputy chief operating officer, has been assigned to hire a team to build the new hotline with Bloomberg Philanthropies' 3-year annual grants.
As mendicancy has been steadly rising in Atlanta, Mayor Reed also seeks to lower panhandling and homelessness in the city of more than 45,000 homeless people. The money being shared with other cities, including Memphis, New Orleans, and Chicago, will be able to provide housing and facilities to guide them out of their helplessness.