As winter quickly approaches, a group effort is now in the works to eliminate homelessness in the city.

An estimated 45 representatives from many of the agencies who deal with homelessness met with Erie Mayor Joe Schember on Tuesday, to discuss ways to eradicate the issue.

According to the 2018 Single Point in Time count conducted by the Erie Home Team, an estimated 1,026 people are homeless in Erie County, on any given night.

The organizations who deal with the homeless, now plan to work together to develop a strategic plan, to drastically reduce those numbers.

Some of the ideas discussed at the meeting, include transforming some of the vacant buildings in Erie into a one-stop shop for the homeless, where they can get all of their needs addressed.

Also, the installation of "homeless meters”, which are similar to parking meters, only citizens give their spare change to groups who help the homeless, instead of panhandlers.

By working together, the organizations can leverage resources and effectively help those who are homeless.

"It's a critical issue, and it's one that we can solve,” said Erie United Methodist Alliance Executive Director Kurt Crays.  “That's the exciting thing.  Communities all over the U.S. are reaching functional zero.  They're making homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring.  I'm thrilled that the City of Erie and Erie County are on board with that."

Members of each group are set to meet on December 13 at SafeNet, to discuss their next move.