(Credit: Kelly Jordan)

By Sean Keenan

With temperatures creeping toward freezing, the City of Atlanta plans to open an emergency warming center in Summerhill on Monday evening. 

Declining temperatures can be dangerous or even deadly for people who have no option but to sleep on the streets, so city officials announced the former Ramada Hotel, at 450 Capitol Avenue, would open its doors at 5 p.m. and remain open until Tuesday at 1 p.m.

The new location could prove crucial for the homeless population centralized near downtown. In years past, many of the city’s warming centers were located miles from downtown, making them difficult to access for people without transportation. 

City officials have not yet responded to SaportaReport’s emailed questions regarding the capacity at the Ramada Hotel and whether other warming centers would be opening. This story will be updated as more information is provided. 

The news of the warming center’s first opening this season comes on the heels of city officials announcing a new initiative with homeless outreach organization Partners for Home, which endeavors to house up to 800 people

The $24 million program, supported by $18 million in federal funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and cash from the Emergency Solutions Grant programs, aims to put people experiencing homelessness in year-long leases at apartments around the city. 

The initiative is expected to focus on the chronically homeless — people with debilitating conditions who have been homeless for a year or more — and young people experiencing homelessness.

(Header image, via Kelly Jordan: A person sleeps on the streets of Atlanta.)

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