Once homeless, Snellville official donates salary to nonprofit that feeds the hungry

Once homeless, Snellville official donates salary to nonprofit that feeds the hungry


Headed by chef Hank Reid, Lettum Eat largely relies on donations, fundraisers and catering events to meet its goal. Snellville City Council recognized Reid for his work in early January, prompting Warner to begin donating to the nonprofit.

“Once Hank started taking food to people rather than having people come to him, it really hit home because there were many times in my life that was me,” Warner said. “If we don’t help when we can, then can we expect someone to help us?”

Reid declined an interview with the AJC to comment on Warner’s donations, in light of Warner’s status as a political candidate.

Warner previously donated convalescent plasma every few weeks from August 2020 to January 2021 after he recovered from COVID-19. He chose to donate to Lettum Eat each month after he was told he could no longer donate plasma.

“You never know what in your life is going to change at the drop of a hat that you don’t have money set aside for,” said Warner, who works as a real estate investment consultant. “All of a sudden, you’re without a roof over your head. I know the feeling.”

Warner, who moved 32 times by the time he was 30, finally settled in Snellville in 1995. He initially served on Snellville City Council from 2007-2011. Before and after his first go at council, he worked on the city’s planning commission.

Two years ago, Warner became a councilmember again after winning a special election, when Barbara Bender vacated her seat to become mayor. He plans to run for reelection this year.

“I wanted (my kids) to have the stability that I never had,” said Warner, who has two daughters and one son. “I’m so involved in my community because I never had the luxury of seeing somebody year after year, watching them grow in one place. It was always a new group of faces, new everything.”

Posted by Marsha Anderson Bomar on Friday, June 25, 2021

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I had a call from one of my constituents saying she’s moving back in with her parents. She’s 40 years old. ... We have people that could not pay for light, water or medicines. This has been the reason why we’re out there, not because we want to stand in the heat.”"},{"_id":"LRP355CVZBD63PSUSHH5GYTNXU","additional_properties":{"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1624827140953},"type":"text","content":"Mark Butler, commissioner for the labor department, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that local career centers mostly focus on assisting unemployed Georgians with skills such as resume writing and interview techniques. These workers have helped with reemployment and unemployment insurance services since the pandemic started, he said."},{"_id":"3JHG3Q3X5NFEZKW2NYGDZR2PQU","additional_properties":{"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1624827140954},"type":"text","content":"“We have had an issue with legislators insisting that people go to career centers to have their appeals hearings, which is incorrect information,” Butler said in an email. “Those types of hearings have been done over the phone for 8 years.”"},{"_id":"NPERPP6AFBD67A6SJ66MFH4BXQ","additional_properties":{"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1624827140955},"type":"text","content":"Clark believes that the career centers should reopen to help people find jobs and address claim issues, even if they weren’t used for this purpose in the past."},{"_id":"BF2YR7SO5NGRXOQGBB746KCAYA","additional_properties":{"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1624655393793},"type":"text","content":"“A year later, there are people that have never seen a penny,” McLeod said. “As a human being — to know somebody won’t be able to eat, somebody might not have a roof over their head — you cannot help but be completely in pain for them.”"},{"_id":"ERLXMFF26JDCHFJYJ4QEENQCT4","additional_properties":{"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1624827140957},"type":"text","content":"The department recently said that thousands of people were still waiting for their cases to be heard, many of them appeals. Only about 40% of appeals are usually filed for valid reasons, said Kersha Cartwright, director of communications for the department."},{"_id":"3JHG3Q3X5NFEZKW2NYGDZR2PQU","additional_properties":{"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1624827140958},"type":"text","content":"“Legislators have had a point of contact and a system created just for them with dedicated staff members to help with their constituents’ needs during this pandemic,” Butler said. “A lot of the recent cases seen from legislators are people who have been fired or quit, and in some cases have committed fraud.”"},{"_id":"ARVQUV4JMZCSXIQQMCV7W7K4ZM","additional_properties":{"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1624655393794},"type":"text","content":"Gov. Brian Kemp announced last month that the $300-per-week federal supplements to unemployment benefits would end June 26. His decision came after arguing federal unemployment benefits have kept many from working."},{"_id":"GFS2VHHBVBBNNAFO6AUZZ3C2LY","additional_properties":{"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1624655393795},"type":"text","content":"More than 167,000 Georgians will stop getting payments when the change takes effect. About 56,000 others will keep their state benefits but lose the $300-a-week federal supplement. State jobless benefits top out at $365 a week."},{"_id":"RGG4QA4HUFHKRKXDBBNLNZNE2E","additional_properties":{"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1624655393796},"type":"text","content":"“It’s really scary,” said Shorts, who will keep the base unemployment benefits but no longer receive the federal supplement. “If my husband wasn’t working, we would be homeless.”"},{"_id":"2BQDKFKWRNCFPHHE6BFR7D5WV4","additional_properties":{"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1624655393797},"type":"text","content":"Mitchell said she doubts unemployment benefits lead people to shy away from taking jobs. Georgia’s unemployment rate is 4.1%, compared to the national rate of 5.8%."},{"_id":"UU23ZSQEH5E4XEL36IX7UIXMNU","additional_properties":{"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1624827140963},"type":"text","content":"Gwinnett County’s unemployment rate was 3.5% in April 2021, compared to 12.4% in April 2020 and 3% in February 2020 before the pandemic."},{"_id":"BTYLEG35CNGQJMIA5HVW4Z4APU","additional_properties":{"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1624655393799},"type":"text","content":"“I don’t understand how you can say that, look at the rate of unemployment and not feel strong cognitive dissonance,” Mitchell said. “Our rate of unemployment is low. Obviously, people are getting back to work.”"},{"_id":"EQRMEC5CIBHH5OOOQHLRKCUCOI","additional_properties":{"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1624657572845},"type":"text","content":"The state Legislature narrowly passed a bill that would have weakened the state labor commissioner by creating a new post tasked with prodding the department to speed up processing benefit requests from jobless Georgians. But Kemp vetoed the measure, saying it proposes “serious infringements on the separation of powers.”"},{"_id":"6GCFTQDHYZBSLJGOHKP5BVYORY","additional_properties":{"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1624655393800},"type":"text","content":"Last week, some jobless claimants filed a class action lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court asking a judge to find the labor department in violation of the law for not paying benefits quickly enough. The claimants are represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Jason Carter, grandson of former President Jimmy Carter."},{"_id":"TNZTEQNLTZFFNG2JQD3OH47V2I","additional_properties":{"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1624655393801},"type":"text","content":"In a statement, Butler called it “another politically motivated lawsuit.”"},{"_id":"KPPGJS7JDFHE3FBZTEJMISSHNM","additional_properties":{"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1624655393802},"type":"text","content":"AJC Staff Writer Michael Kanell contributed to this report."},{"_id":"5BGS7HDS2VCT3NRJAFX4R4MYYE","additional_properties":{"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1624655393803},"type":"text","content":"
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Bomar, Post 2, currently held by Marline Thomas, and Post 3, currently held by Robert “Billy” Jones."},{"_id":"VOA6PUYHR5AALJKEQ44WUV6GOI","additional_properties":{"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1624548748372},"type":"text","content":"Candidates interested in running for one of these seats may qualify beginning 8:30 a.m. Aug. 16 through 4:30 p.m. Aug. 18 in the office of the city clerk, at City Hall, 3167 Main St. Individuals intending to qualify must be a resident of Duluth for one year prior to Nov. 2 election, be a Duluth registered voter and pay a qualification fee of $180 for council member."}],"display_date":"2021-06-24T15:32:52.445Z","headlines":{"basic":"Duluth sets qualifying dates, fees for municipal election"},"first_publish_date":"2021-06-24T15:32:52.445Z","taxonomy":{"sections":[{"path":"/neighborhoods/gwinnett","parent":{"default":"/neighborhoods"},"_website":"ajc","parent_id":"/neighborhoods","name":"Gwinnett County","description":"Local news for Gwinnett County, GA including Gwinnett County Schools, high school sports, things to do from the AJC. 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