top of page

County seeks ouster of nonprofit CEO who heads sanctioned homeless camp in Athens


The 1st Step homeless encampment on Barber Street

By Joe Johnson

The county is seeking removal of the head of a nonprofit group that operates a government-sanctioned homeless camp following his conviction on charges he assaulted a camp resident.

In a letter to board of Athens Alliance Coalition, Athens-Clarke County Manager Blaine Williams said that the conviction of the group's executive director, Charles Hardy Jr., made the organization out of its contractual obligation to operate the homeless camp in a “safe, sanitary and supportive” environment.

With Hardy at its helm, AAC has since March 2022 overseen operations of the 1st Step homeless encampment on Barber Street, a 55-bed facility and program for unhoused individuals to stay while they are assisted with transitioning to more permanent housing. The program’s $2.5 million contract with the county is funded through the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

Charles Hardy Jr.

With Hardy’s conviction on Tuesday, William told the AAC board that it needed to implement certain “risk mitigating measures” that included the immediate removal and replacement of Hardy as chief executive officer, that he be barred from the Barber Street property, as well as be denied access to 1st Step financial accounts and other systems that are associated with the homeless program.

On Tuesday, at the end of a two-day trial in Athens-Clarke County State Court, a jury found Hardy guilty of battery, disorderly conduct and one count of simple battery for hitting a female resident at the encampment and another count of the offense for spitting on her in August 2022. Jurors found him not guilty of charges related the alleged assault of a second woman in the same timeframe.

Judge Ethelyn Simpson sentenced Hardy to serve 72 hours in the county jail plus 12 months on supervised probation. A second trial is pending, for Hardy’s alleged assault of a woman who worked as his office assistant at the 1st Step encampment

1,363 views8 comments

8 Comments


Ivy Gray
Ivy Gray
May 08, 2023

This is very misleading. The girl that was "assaulted" was trespassing and assaulted Mr. Hardy first. I was at the camp when this happened. Mr Hardy retaliated only AFTER being attacked. This matter is being appealed. No action should be taken until his legal options have been exhausted and even then Mr. Hardy has done more for our homeless in the last year than the City Commission in decades.

Like

American Rescue Plan... this is one of the reasons we have massive inflation. Expensive eggs, milk, fuel (energy).. there's a reason! Libtards put your ostrich heads in the sand,. you won't like this. This massive waste on Charles Hardy tent village... you're paying for it every trip to the grocery store forever.


It's ok, the monopoly game is almost over and there are no winners!!!

Like

So, City Manager Williams, why did you wait until May 4th, 2023, to call for the AAC to remove of the head of the homeless camp for actions he took in August 2022? You did not need to wait until he was tried and convicted to call for his removal from that position. ACC is spineless when it comes to holding its staff and contractors accountable. There needs to be an independent investigation of the award of the homeless camp contract to AAC and a public accounting for how the $2.5M was spent.

Like
Replying to

A complaint referral of an exempt organization may be made by submitting Form 13909, Tax­Exempt Organization Complaint (Referral) Form, downloadable from IRS.gov. Form 13909 and any supporting documentation may be submitted in a variety of ways. They can be sent via: Email to eoclass@irs.gov


Like

Athens officials remind me of cats using a litter box. All FOS.

Like

Hardy is the only sane person involved with this caper.

Like
Haz Nicholas
Haz Nicholas
May 05, 2023
Replying to

At least he’s one person at a non-profit who is actually doing something to help people out. Can’t say the same for some other ‘non-profits’ out there…. Claim to help juvenile offenders but in the YEARS they’ve been in operation, their FB page shows them helping ONE kid. Oh, but the ‘CEO’ sure knows how to collect that money! Lol.

Like
bottom of page