By Sean Keenan
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced a new initiative on Wednesday that promises to house hundreds of people experiencing homelessness before winter temperatures make sleeping on the streets much more dangerous.
This $24 million effort, which could house up to 800 people, is supported largely by $18 million in federal funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and Emergency Solutions Grant programs, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Spearheaded by Partners for Home, the nonprofit leading the city’s homeless outreach efforts, the initiative seeks to not just put a roof over people’s heads, but to get them year-long leases at apartments around town. Partners for Home, with funding from the CARES Act and philanthropic agencies, would pay landlords directly for the tenants.
The program is expected to focus on young people experiencing homelessness, as well as the chronically homeless — people suffering from a debilitating condition who have been homeless for a year or more, or people who have been repeatedly homeless.
City officials said Wednesday that they’d secured about 120 units for the program so far, and they’re negotiating with landlords for another 340 units at present. That leaves another 340 or so units to be identified.
Officials with Partners for Home and the City of Atlanta have not said how quickly this program could progress, although the CARES Act funding must be spent by the end of the year.
Landlords interested in participating in the program can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 470-223-7517 for more information.
(Header image, via Kelly Jordan: A homeless person sleeps on the streets of Atlanta)
The phone # listed in this article is incorrect. It’s mine and I’ve gotten multiple voicemails from people asking for more information/help. I hope you can get this corrected so they can get the help they need.